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833 00096 8237 

Gc 977.201 Adls 
Snow, J. F. 

Snow's history of Adams County, 







J. F. SNOW. B. S. 









B. F. BOWEN & CO. 




ft.w 8 





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*• - 

.- ■- -■- 

J. F. SNOW. 

1 1ST 3D E ZS 



Adams County Organized... SO 

Adams County Union 121 

Adams County Times 122 

A Sad Scene 138 

Adams County Times 

(Berne) 132 

Authorship and Ciubs...l9S 202 

Associate Judges 21] 

Auditors of the County.... 212 
Attorney Curtis's Petition.. 213 

Assessors, County 213 

Attorneys, Adams County... 20S 
Adams County Democrat... 1 ir> 

"Appleseed Johnnie" 57 

Attacked by Wolves 67 

Blakey, Curutiaii 4'"> 

Ban': of Geneva 113 

Bank of Berne 113 

Berne News 132 

Eerno Witness 182 

Berne Town 11! 

Eire Creek Township Ii7 

Buena Vista 182 

Ben Ilur No 156 193 

Bnho, James K 200 110 

Brunegraph, "Little Joe"... 209 
Building and Loan Associa- 
tion 115 

Braddock's Battle Ground.. 23 

Burdge's Mill 179 

"Bell View" 41 

Bear Hunting 67 

Boating and Rafting S7 

Banking Business 110 

Crawford. Josiali 05 

Oyudian (a oewspaper) . 122 

City and Towns 137 

Ceylon IS! 

Camp Meetings. ."! 187 

Company B, ItSOth ind 197 

Commercial Club, 198 

County Sheriffs 211 

County Coroners 211 

County Clerks 212 

County Commissioner? .... 212 

County Officers 213 214 

Close Majorities 210 

County Surveyors 211 

Curtis's Petition 2j3 

Churches of DecatuV 140 

Citizens' Telephone Co 110 

Cabin Home 138 

Canals 4.: 88 

Citizens' Bank. li-i 

Decatur Cit-y 387 

Dangerous V/clvcs 86 

Decatur Herald 121 

Decatur Free Press 122 

Daily Evening News 12-1 

Decatur News 124 

Democratic Press 125 

The Democrat 12S 

Decatur Journal 129 

Daily Newspapers 134 

Deer, Domesticated 150 

Decatur Commercial Club.. 193 
Doctors of Adams County. 202 

Dentists 203 

Decatur Trenton Rock Min- 
ing Co 116 

Decatur Eagle 120 

Dugan, Charles A 120 

Decatur Gazette US 

Early Explorations 18 

Era of Settlement 42 

Early Schools and Teachers' 105 

Eagles' Order 194 

Elks' Order 194 

Electric Mights 117 

Enterprise, Genera, (a news- 
paper) 135 

Edwards Electric Light 


Early Patriotism. 



Farming 101 

Farmers' Institutes 100 

Fourth of July Celebration. 49 

First Teachers 107 

Pirsc School Houses 10fi 

Firs* Brick tc.hool Houses. 108 

Firs. AcfwaJ Settlers 43 

Fate s Chosen Ground 165 

Farmer.:' and Merchants' 

Bank 135 

France. John T 208 

FortiifgiHly Ciub 200 

Free Masons 189 

French Town ship 1 SO 

First National BanU- 112 

Fairs and Entertainments. . 95 

Ferry, Carol me 55 

Friends ar.d Fatmers 100 

Geology 33 

Geneva Independent 13C 

Grand Army of *he Repub- 
lic 195 

Geneva Town 151 

Geneva Herald 136 

Geneva News 136 

Geneva Triumph 135 

Grady's Great Shows 126 

Girtys— The Outlaws 26 

German Settlements 56 

Historical Club 199 

Heller, Daniel D 205 

Hartford Township 181 

Horsemen's Driving Asso- 
ciation 93 

Hoskinson. Sarah 54 

Hoosleis NeFt 42 

n^.-v Patch Robbers • 77 

lies Race 6'- 5 

Hand of Fate 163 

Hunting Bear 6T 

Infirmary (poor house) 1T4 

Independent. Decatur paper 126 

Indiana Horse Thieves OS 

Independent, Geneva paper. 128 

Indian Trouble? 20 

Incidents and Accidents. . . . 69 

Introductory 17 

Indiana National Guard... 196 

Joiititry's Ghost 75 

Jefferson Township 186 

Jake's Belling 74 

"Johnuie Appleseed" 57 

Judges, Circuit and Common 
Pleas 213 

Kirkland Township 172 

Knights of Pythias 102 

Limberlost 35 

Live Ghosts 77 

Log Houses — Geneva 151 

Lawyers 204 

Land Appraisers 212 

Lawyers. Doctors and Other 

People 201 

Large Land Owners SO 

Library, Decatur Public... 144 

Monroe State Bank 114 

Merrynu.ii, James T 207 

Monmouth 167 

IvIcLeod Bewitched 72 

Miila and Milling 90 

Music Teacher.-: 107 

Miile: Triplets 203 

MeGriff Twins 53 

Masons, Free and Accepted 1S9 

McDonald. David 61 

Ma:,. tax, Lewis Si 

MeConneli. John 64 

Monroe — A town 156 

Manheim — A town 169 

Monroe Township 17S 

Magley — A town 171 

Maccabees I So 

Newspaper Field IIS 

Northwest Territory 2S 

Nottingham, William 209 

Nutman. J. D 50 

Old Adams County Bank.. Ill 

Oil Industry 159 

Old Sett'ers' Meetings- 47 

Old People in 1S50 49 

Old Ginger 71 

On the Same Puncheon.... 74 

Odd Fellows' Orders 190 

Olive Lodge. D. of R 19') 

Plank Road 38 

Pioneer Cabin 33 

Palace of the Pioneer 58 

Plank Load Toll Jumper... 72 

Puncheon Floors 73 

Preble Township 169 

Phillipps, Edward A 131 

Preble Town 171 

Peterson Town 172 

Political Field 210 

Probate Judges 211 

Pontius — "Uncle George's 

Puncheon Floors" 73 

Patriotic Meetings 43 

Prosecuting Attorneys 211 

Porter (John P. No. S3) Post, 

G. A. R 195 

Pe'ition by Attorney Curtis, 213 

Public Utilities 110 

People's Bank 114 

Quaker Trace. 


ftugg, Samuel L 2 !4 

Root Township 167 

Recorders of the County. . . . 23 1 

Red Men's Order of Decatur ;y{ 

Rice, William P 41 

Representatives, Srate. 214 

Railroads 152 

Rivare Reservation 17-5 

Some Physical Feature? ... 32 

Shakespeare Club 19.9 

Simison, Robert 56 

Some Live Ghosts 75 

Some Other People 209 

Stump Speakers 79 

Star News 123 

Social and Commercial Club "193 

Studabaker, David 205 

Standard Oil Company 171 

Studabaker, Peter 14 

Stone and Gravel Roads... 161 

Snow, Barton P.. Dr 62 

SteaiM Mills 95 

Surveyors 211 

Snow, Add: 1 v., Court Re- 
porter 207 

Singing Teachers 107 

Saint Clair's Memorial 23 

Some Indian Leaders 21 

Some Hunters 70 

Sheriffs of the County 211 

Simison, Mrs. Robert 5S 

Saint Mary's Township.... 175 

Salem Town 178 

Secret ana B-rnevelent Or- 
ders 189 

Sham Battles 3 96 

Spanish American — 160th In- 
diana Regiment 197 

Stat;- Senators 214 

Saint Mary's Lodge, I O. 

O. F 190 

Saw Henri' Post, G. A. H. , 193 
Saptriuteudents, County.... 214 

The Hand of Fate 163 

Township Organization .... 84 
Treasurers of the County... 212 

Trails and Roads 35 

Teiepl'one Company 116 

The Girtys 20 

The Pioje?r Cabin Homes. . 3S 

The Kousier Nest 42 

The First Jail 139 

The First Court House 130 

Union Township 166 

Violinists 107 

Wabash Township : 1S4 

Weekly World 124 

Wn.,hingion Township 173 

Woodmen, Modern 194 

Woman's Christian Temper- 
ance Union 195 

Women Attorneys 208 

Water Works, Decatur 117 

Walker, John 53 

Williams Town 168 

Yager, Jacob 41 

Young American, The 121 


. . 269 

Cook, Coat 

. . . 374 

Aupsburger, Jehu C 


. . 229 

Chronister, Josiah L 

Case, Robert 

Campbell, William C 

Dangherty, Andrew E 

Decker, Henry 

Daiie}, Joseph J 

Dirksou, Hon. Henry. ... 
Drew, William B 

Egly, Samuel 

Egly, Christian G 

Ellingham, Lev. G 

Ehruian, John A 

Fetters. Samuel 

France, Edwin V. 

Fuhrmau, Samuel 

Frisinger, Maynaxd A . . 

Franz, Einil 

Fulls, William E 

Freeh, Frederick F 

Fulk, William F 

. . . 3^1 

'i>d r aws Philip L 

.. 221 

. . . 334 

Asp*. H. M., M. D 

AngsbBrger, Mess 

Aimi&un, William 

Arnold, Frank 

Ainterson. Badgeley 

Acktr, Samuel S 

Baker, John P 

Wevte Theodois 


. . 367 
.. 339 

.. 408 

.. 446 

.. 176 

.. 397 
. . 362 

.. 3SU 

. .. 396 

. . . 244 
. .. 2C1 
. .. 325 
. . . 238 

. .. 293 
. .. iSO 

Bult'-meier. Charles E 

Bjirgbalier, Christian 

DieTiz, Adam J 

BiTlei'-, T>avid 

BT'ivn. John 

BaPzell, Thomas 11 

Jir.i cord II. P 

Baiimgartner, peter J.... 

Hartley, William P 

Bieeke, Edward C 


. . 27*i 
.. 220 
. . 278 


2-1 3 


. . ~ i\> 


... 219 

... 234 

. .. 443 
. .. 340 
. . . 372 
... SI* 


.. 227 
. . . 357 

.. 427 

. . 258 

. . 361 

Bec-lec, JDsnio! 

ijeke, William F 

Frantz, Ernest, M. D 

Clendening, Willis C 

Gvote. C. H. C 

Grandrtaif, John C, H. I 
Gallim-ier, Henrv 

.. 2S3 

ni&feey, John H 

Farleies', John A 

.. 347 

. .. 356 
).. 336 

. . 315 

.. 328 

Gerber, Christian J 

Goidner, Lewis 

Graber. Jacob Richard. . 

. 3S2 

Blossom, Helen M. (Bobo 
Surk, Bartly 

). 318 

.. 393 

.. 429 
. 418 

I<ol/imioyer, Martin 

.. 394 

. .. 458 

Buckmaster, J. A 

.. 301 

Brewster, Daniel 

Burkmaster. W V 

.. 395 

. .. 3SS 

Hale. John D 

... 462 

!*wr Christian c 

■ >>". .-:. W'1'i'.rr, 

" ■ ■'■'••■ •■ William _* 

!•■ fill , JliOCU 

.. 413 

. . 404 

. . 423 


Hale, Hon. 3. W 

Hoffman. W. D 

Hirsehy, Amos 

KaDegger, Jacob A 

. .. 469 
. . . 43.?. 
. .. 290 
. .. 2S5 

-■'"-Ave John P. . . 


!'' tv, citric Law 

■ -.•! s, AJpi-aailei 


. . 4-i t 

Ho] thou se, Lew 

Ho.'Je, William 

. . . 294 

. .. 234 

Iluser. Jacob 258 

Hendricks, John 249 

Rail, John 364 

Hall, William 368 

Hooper, Paul G 308 

Heller, Henry B 313 

Heller, Hon. Danial D. 311 

Hovct:. George M. T 430 

Hirscav, Elias 402 

Hoiloway, Dr. Marie L 436 

Huffman, John 442 

Hoffman, James D 250 

Hendricks, Eli W. 253 

Hendricks, William P 256 

Jrl&n, Aaron 240 

Johnson, Willis Frank 3S2 

Johnston, Joseph T 254 

Jaus, Rev-. Henry C 327 

Johnson, Eii W 227 

Juday, Ottis 44S 

Koos; Jacob 362 

KJaiising, Rev. John H 332 

Kline. William 346 

Kiudel, Albert S 381. 

Kirsch, Matthias 301 

Kelly, John T 24S 

Kirsch, Peter 306 

Kleint. Louies 324 

Kunkle, Samuel D 378 

Kirchner, Edward A 432 

Krick, Hon. Henry 463 

Liechty, John J 438 

Liechtj , Peter J 443 

Long, Lewis 272 

Love, J. L 271 

Lutz. Clark J 292 

Lever, Joseph S 224 

Lehman, Samael 400 

Lathoi, John i" 320 

Laman, David.... 322 

Lankenau, Henry 365 

Lev-ton, Lewis L 377 

Miller, Henry ...... 

Mm una, John IT. . . . 

Macklin, P. A 

JHller. Levi I) 

Mart?.. .Tames K 

Mattax, Lemuel .1,.. B 
iliiler, Chwles C. . . 

Moses- - , Edgti S 

Moeschberger, Christ 
Merrymaa. Jamos T. 

Miller, William 

Mors.r., .Join) C 

McKean, John W. . . 

McCoilum, E. D 

Morrow, Henry A... 

McCain, John S 

McCuoa, James 

McClain, Newton H.. 

Meyer, Bli 

Mat tax. Davidson t .'„ 

Miller, David H 

Mesitberger, Davit!. . 
Mo:.sor. Noah 





Niblick. John 

Niblick. D&ni-? 1 M 

Niblick, William H — 

Niblick, Charles S 

Nidiingsr, Joan B 

Neuensclrwander, Jonas 
Nev.enschvar.'.'er. Jacob 

Niblifik, .Time T 

Niblick,.. Jesse 

Niblick. J. K 

Oliver, Marion L 

Patterson, Robert T>... 
Patterson, James C... 

Porter, Andrew .1 

Pruess. P.ev. Christian B. 
Fortei, Charles Dorwin... 



4 lit 
4 4.1 

3 '* - 


39 S 


Randenbush. William L.... 2-13 

Re'isser, Amos, M. D 293 

Rich, isicho'.us 255 

Retaking, William F 221 

Rohrtr, Fred 230 

Rvf. Otto M 232 

Rupp, Jesse 235 

Rayn. Clarence 23S 

Roth, Peter 366 

Rape. La r&yefte 370 

Retaking, Herman F 349 

Rupright, Joke 331 

Rokver, John 385 

Rugg, Jay 307 

Ripley, Malcolm Aionzo.... 396 

Pli:uycii, Noah 439 

Rupright, Granvill W 465 

Reminiscent 472 

Studabaker, Hon. David.... 217 

Seilemeyer. Herman Yv" 287 

Spi'unger. Levi A 277 

Scteisk, Charles H., M. D., 2t,9 

Sekng, Phiiip 282 

Schug, Julius C 279 

Snow, Vernon L 2S0 

Sprunger, Reuben 2&8 

Rhe?bPrd, Nsihp.n B 29S 

Schut:. William F 257 

Schanjerlob, William 2-3 

Slengei] Chris 933 

Schiig, Rndoipn 230 

Seiiamerioh, Christian 351 

Rprungor, Albert N 385 

Skriison, John 371 

S?nith, Joseph W 342 

Smith, Martin L 403 

Studabaker. David E 305 

Shorty] Benjamin W 317 

Steiner, John P 3S7 

Stuclcey, Christian E 412 

SoMucr, John J 414 

Steel, James A 424 

Schindler, David -iOl 

Stonenurner. Jesse W 120 

Steel, David 460 

befcurger, John 459 

S-nuh, Adam J... 474 

Smith. Da T 'id Edward 450 

Snow, Hop. J. F 472 

Taeple, Judson W 313 

Teeple, S. H 240 

Thieme, Frederick 359 

Teeple. "William H 335 

Tine-lie. Andreas Frederick 358 

Tinkham, Sylvester C 411 

Tyndall, Otholie Nelson 410 

Vizard. Hoa. John W, M. D. 337 

Weldy. V.'iiliam B 434 

Wilson. Richard S., M D. . 231 

Wagner, James 2G5 

"Wallers, Lee C 299 

Weldy, Daniel 264 

Wag-sonar. William T 259 

Wolfe, Adamson Ross 375 

Ways, WeMey I. B 348 

WnlHmann, Jacob 390 

Weiliug, David 468 

Sfagsr, Charles W 33S 

3ehr, John h 437 

Zehr, George 26S 

Zimmerman, William 128 

Zimmerman, Ezra E 425 


But few of the poineer residents of Adams 
county are now living to relate their story 
of its beginning as a county. The written 
details of who was its first white residents, 
or of the early events that transpired in 
the days of its organization are few and 
hard to find. However, it has been the pur- 
pose of the author of this work, as far as 
possible, to give a record of the events of the 
government of the territory, along with what 
is of only local interest. It is a matter of fact 
that the general and state governments are 
of as much, or more, historical interest to 
the county, as is its local history — for the 
reason that they are inseparable from it. 
The county is taxed for their support, for its 
quota of men in time of war — and for its 
share of money for government expenses in 
time of peace. It joins in the general elec- 
tions of governors, congressmen and presi- 
dents of the United States. It gets in re- 
turn the protection of the federal and state 
laws, which control the township, as well as 
the county, state and nation. For the reasons 
stated, the actual history of Adams county 
begins with the colonial grants made by the 
European governments to the various colo- 
nies. The ownership as determined from 
time to time in their contentions for mastery 
of iliis region and finally the control at the 

time actual permanent settlement was made, 
claims a share of the county's history. Until 
the close of the Revolutionary war — 1783 — 
Virginia claimed dominion of most of the 
actual settlements throughout the Ohio val- 
ley. That lying north west of the Ohio 
river was known as the county of Illinois, 
and that south, as the county cf Kentucky. 
The laws of Virginia prevailed in her settle- 
ments in these counties until T/87. Then the 
federal government came into control of Illi- 
nois county, known 3ater as the Northwest 
Territory, and thereafter, appointed its gov- 
ernors, who were largely instrumental in 
making the laws of the territory. About one 
of the first acts of the first territorial gov- 
ernor was to divide the territory into two 
counties, the west as Knox county with its 
seat of justice at Vincennes, or "Saint Vin- 
cent" as it was then known, and Wayne 
county, the eastern part, with its seat of 
justice or county seat at Detroit. In 1800, 
Indiana Territory was organized which in 
1 816 became a state, with the privilege of 
forming its constitution and enacting it- 
own laws. At the date of its admission, as a 
state, Indiana was divided into thirteen coun- 
ties, Randolph county being one of the 
number. In 1S23 this was divided and 
Allen county was organized. Thirteen 

1 8 


years later, in 1836, Adams county began its 
existence as a distinct and separate civil 
corporation. In our preparation of this 
work we make no special claim for original- 
ity, but have endeavored to, as nearly as pos- 
sible, arrive at facts, as received from the 
writings and reminiscences of those who 
were intimately acquainted, at first hand, 
with the organization and development of 
the county, however, the author hereof 
has been a resident of Adams county for 
more than forty-six years, and has seen 
much of the development himself of 
the county's resources, and has also 
listened to the reminiscences as related by 
many of the oldest residents of the county 
themselves. Much interesting historical mat- 

ter is forever lost, to future generations from 
the fact that its actors' names remain as a 
tradition of the past ; their grave stones mark 
their only span of life as an unwritten book. 

In conclusion, I wish to acknowledge the 
valuable encouragement received from many 
of the pioneer residents of Adams county, 
and also, the assistance gotten from the val- 
uable histories of Randolph, Jay, Allen and 
Van Wert counties. Also the state histories 
of Indiana, and Howe's Historical Notes of 

How nearly we have succeeded in present- 
ing a plain straightforward impartial and 
interesting historical record of events, is left 
to the judgment of each individual reader 
to decide for himself. 


Nature with her bounteous hand has pro- 
vided her children with a great variety of 
landscapes. None of these can be more 
beautiful than those which may be seen at 
harvest time. The green meadows — 01 the 
yellow grain fields, just ready for the sickle, 
the rolling pasture lands with their herds of 
fine cattle, the orchard nestling around the 
neat cozy cottage — is a picture of civiliza- 
tion an and contentment. A hundred years 
ago these farms were a part of an unbroken 
forest reaching from western Indiana, along 
the Wabash, to the Atlantic sea-board, at 
the east, — with the exception of a few small 
prairies along the lakes. The constant labor 
of the pioneer has wrought the wonderful 
change, within the last few decades. Then, 
the only routes of travel were the lakes and 
the navigable rivers. Wild beasts, and wild- 

er Indians held dominion over what is now 
the finest farm lands and the most populous 
cities. The French were the earliest ex- 
plorers of the lake region and the Mississip- 
pi valley, Cadillac, in 1701, founded Detroit, 
and some years previous to this time the 
French traders and missionaries ascended 
the Maumec river to where Fort Wayne is 
now situated, to the Indian village of Ke- 
kionga. New Orleans, Natchez, Vin- 
cennes, Marietta, and DuOuesne, are lasting 
mementoes of the French occupancv of this 
region. Until 1763 the French had nominal 
control and possession of the lands and 
country west of the AHeghanies. Her trad- 
ers were chiefly engaged in traffic with the 
Indians. They furnished the Indians with 
many of the useful articles of domestic life 
and war, — such as guns, knives, hatchets, 



wipes, paints, and ornamental trinkets, as 
their fancy and wants demanded, in ex- 
change for valuable furs of the otter, beaver, 
mink and such others as would find a ready 
sale in Europe. Trading posts were estab- 
lished at convenient points on the rivers and 
lakes at which the supplies were collected 
by local traders and taken up at certain in- 
tervals by pack trains and carriers to boat 
navigation down the Maumee and Ohio, to 
the sea board, — and sent to Europe. In 
1763, the French had more than sixty trad- 
ing- posts protected by block houses and 
stockades, within the Ohio valley. Several 
of these were on the Wabash river. At Fort 
Wayne, Saint Mary's, Ohio, and Wapako- 
neta and Defiance, on the Auglaize river, 
were important trading posts. There were 
at least three general classes of white peo- 
ple who visited this section of the country 
at an early day, when all was a wilderness 
and unbroken forest — the fur trader and 
the missionary, — neither of whom expected 
to remain long at any particular place. Those 
who came subsequent to the trader and 
the missionary became the permanent set- 
t'tr, — the pioneer resident of the country. 
The missionary and the trader learned to live 
in Indian fashion and learned the Indian 
languages and did much toward filling the 
link between barbarism and civilization. La- 
Salle and Marquette were perhaps among 
the first white explorers of the Maumee and 
Ohio valleys. The record of their explora- 
l»«»ns dates back to about 16S0. The mis- 
lonaries who followed on close to the fur 
trader were a medium between the red 
ntcr and white settler. Neither the mis- 
Munary nor the trader gave any attention to 
Jmjir or sowing or cultivation of the 
'■■•'• inarketing its timber or mineral 

products ; however they erected stockades 
and block houses for their protection from 
hostile Indians. Near these trading points 
the Jesuit missionaries established missions 
for the conversion of the Indians, who came 
to barter with the traders. Some of the In- 
dian traders and missionaries were half- 
breeds, or part white and part red man, with 
Teutonic ambitions and filled with a spirit of 
adventure, or anxious to erect a church to the 
glory of God and to their own fame, risked 
their lives and suffered exposure and priva- 
tion to blaze the way for the permanent .set- 
tler. The fur traders and the missionaries 
did not interfere, to any great extent with the 
Indian's mode of living; but rather adopted 
some of the Indian's customs. For this, and 
other reasons, comparatively few conflicts en- 
sued between them. But when the pioneers 
and permanent settlers came and began a 
new era, by felling the forests, and fencing 
the lands, the red man sent in his protest, 
and enforced it with all of the power at his 
command. Much has been' said of the injus- 
tice shown the Indian. A gocd deal of 
truth may be attached to such statements. 
Yet, there are some principles in naura! 
science that ever demonstrate themselves. 
Oil and water never unite in one homoge- 
neous mass. So with the savage barbarians 
and civilized white men. The habits and 
customs of a people are largely the result 01 
their law and methods of government. 'I he 
customs, manners and beliefs of civilized, and 
uncivilized people are too far at variance 
to ever unite them, so they can live at peace 
with each other, in the same country. As 
a result, with the advent of the permanent 
resident came the Tndian massacres, and the 
frontier war?. In these the combined forces 
of the Indian tribes took part against the 



white settlers. The general government 
rendered its assistance to the pioneers. The 
Indians determined upon a war of extermi- 
nation of the pale-faced intruders. Energy, 
was summoned to determine who could 
command the greater power. In that last 
and decisive struggle the tomahawk yielded 
to the sword, and the hand that held the 
bow and arrow was forever stilled by the 
unerring rifle of the pioneer. "Westward 
empire takes it way" applies as well to 
the great Indian confederacies that held this 
country in terror a hundred years ago as it 
does to the Causacian races of Europe. The 
remaining tribes — after their final struggle 
for supremacy east of the ''Father of 
Waters" — were, in 1832, removed by order 
of .the United States government, on toward 

the setting sun, to be known no more as a 
nation in the beautiful lands east of the Mis- 
sissippi river. However, their tribal names — 
the natural limits of their hunting grounds 
— long since deserted by them, are daily on 
the tongue of the white mar. Kankakee, 
Kaskaskia and Kekionga as Pottawattamie 
words, each had its significance. Miami, 
Mississinewa and Mississippi, once the 
tribal words of the powerful Miamis, new 
the names of rivers — once resounding to the 
war song or to the rippling of the light bark 
canoe — as it glided over their waters bear- 
ing the red children of the forest from wig- 
wam to village — knows him no more. These 
so common names but perpetuate the exist- 
ence of the natural enemv of the white man. 


No future generation can produce an 
achievement so grand in results as did the 
discover)'' of the American continent. Na- 
ture with her bounteous hand has provided 
the Americas with every variety of climate 
and many strange, curious and beautiful 
wonders not to be seen anywhere else in the 
universe. This discover)- gave civilization a 
new world to explore, to conquer and to 
occupy. Soon after this discover)' Europe 
was ablaze with the spirit of adventure, and 
conquest. Religious zeal and the search for 
gold, — the hope of extension of dominion 
and increase of power stimulated every re- 
spectable European country to send expe- 
ditions to the new world. They all found 
the natives friendly in disposition. But this 
friendship was soon broken. With the spirit 
of the age, — the Indians were treated as 

beasts of burden, rather tlian as men with 
individual rights and privileges. It is re- 
lated that Columbus himself carried some 
of the leading Indian chiefs into captivity 
to Europe on his return voyage. The Portu- 
guese and Spaniards in Louisiana and the 
southwest attempted to enslave the natives 
but their efforts were failures, as the resent- 
ful disposition of the Indian and his utter 
disregard of consequences as to his personal 
punishment caused him to murder his new- 
ly established overseer as soon as a favor- 
able opportunity was presented. There may 
be great difference in the energy and mental 
capacity of the different tribes, but it has 
been demonstrated that the Indian cannot 
he successfully enslaved. His pcneral idea 


of manhood is, a good hunter and a sreat 
warrior. He who has slain the greatest 



number of his enemies is the most famous. 
For this reason perhaps, the Indian brave 
soon took an aversion to the pioneer fann- 
er, as he performed the work of a woman, 
and was known as a "squaw man" who was 
rather beneath the notice of a warrior. The 
traders had less trouble in holding the re- 
spect of the Indians as he was not a tiller of 
the lands and lived more like the Indians 
than those in the settlements. The English 
and French nations were enemies in Europe 
and rivals in American colonization. The 
French fur traders along the lakes and .west 
of the Alleghanies were many years in ad- 
vance of the English. Their manners and 
customs readily blended with those of the 
Indians, and they became fast friends in at- 
tack and defense. The English settled the 
Atlantic seaboard country from Massa- 
chusetts to the Carolinas, and gradually 
pushed their frontier westward across the 
mountains. Various disputes led to colonial 
wars in which the services of the Indians 
were, from time to time, employed by the 
contending powers. It is charged that before 
these war?, the Indian was never known to 
scalp his victim; that to the everlasting 
shame of Great Britain, she through her mil- 
itary agents, offered a bounty for French- 
men's scaiplocks. This prompted certain 
Indian tribes to massacre the defenseless set- 
tlers for rewards. In 1754 the colonial forces 
and British regulars under General Brad- 
dock attempted to dislodge the French near 
the headwaters of the Ohio, at Fort Du- 
Oue.-ne. The commander in chief was killed 
and the army defeated with great loss of 
life and property. For the next ten years 
the frontier was a battle ground for guer- 
rilla warfare. In 1763 the French yielded 
nominal control qf the Ohio valley to the 
English. The new government was scarcely 

established when the Revolutionary war be- 
gan. At that time the posts erected and es- 
tablished by the French were in the hands 
of the British. The Ohio and Wabash val- 
leys had many French traders and sympa- 
thizers with the colonial cause. They were 
suspected of treason to the king, — and the 
scalping knife and tomahawk were again 
encouraged, and sanctioned by British 
agents throughout the west. Indian bar- 
barity managed and directed by Teutonic 
intelligence, reached the limit of sickening 
cruelty. The lands south of the Ohio to the 
Mississippi were known as Kentucky coun- 
ty, Virginia, and that on the north, as Illi- 
nois county, Virginia. Patrick Henry, in 
1778, was governor of the colony and di- 
rected Colonel George Rogers Clark to pro- 
ceed to the counties on the Ohio and capture 
the military posts from the British. Clark 
captured Kahokia. Kaskaskia, and Vin- 
cennes and the country was thereafter held 
by the colonial forces. The Indians, and the 
British sympathizers, continued to annoy the 
frontier settlers until in 1791, when Gen- 
eral Arthur Saint Clair, with a large force 
of militia from Virginia, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, and several companies of Conti- 
nental regulars, were sent to the Indian 
country to reduce the hostile tribes to sub- 
mission. From Fort Washington — where 
Cincinnati now stands, he proceeded north- 
ward to Greenville, thence to the headwa- 
ters of the Wabash, a few miles southeast of 
where Portland, in Jay county, is now sit- 
uated. Here he was attacked on the morn- 
ing of November 4, 1791. by a large force 
of Indians under the chiefs Little Turtle 
and Blue Jacket, and the traitor and Indian 
interpreter — Simon Girty — a white savage, 
who had long been in the service of the Brit- 
ish government. The results were disas- 



trous to the invading forces, and Saint Clair 
was defeated with heavy less of life, all his 
artillery and military stores The army con- 
sisted of six companies of regulars, and 
about fifteen hundred militia. The enemy's 
forces were variously estimated at from 
twelve hundred to two thousand men. Con- 
sidering the number engaged, there are but 
two other Indian engagements — Braddock's 
defeat, and the Custer massacre, that corn- 
compare to any degree of resemblance with 
this engagement, in destruction of life and 
loss of property. Until Saint Clair's defeat, 
the Wabash country was comparatively un- 
known in history. Its name and fame now 
spread from home to home as the news was 
related of the sad fate of those six hundred 
soldier boys whose life's blood reddened the 
shores and waters of the Wabash — more 
than a hundred years ago, — a baptism that 
time can' never erase. The general govern- 
ment was not long in avenging this Indian 
victory. New levies were made and an ef- 
fective army of about five thousand men 
was placed under the command of General 
Anthony Wayne, who. in 1794. took the 
route Saint Clair had traveled and built and 
fortified Fort Recovery, on Saint Clair's 
battle field. From these they marched to Gir- 
t\'s town — now Saint Mary's, Ohio, and on 
northward to the Maumee river, near the 
Auglaize, where he built Fort Defiance. 
Then moved to the "Fallen Timbers." near 
the Maumee rapids, where he met the In- 
dians in battle August 20. 1794. killing 
about two hundred of their number and 
driving the others from the c< untry. Coin- 
ing up the Maumee to Keldonga. he erected 
a fort, which, was named by one of his offi- 
cers Fort Wayne. Wayne war a natura 
commander and leader of nicv., and mere 
fortunate than some others of those who 

preceded him in having a large force at his 
command. At the "Fallen Timbers'' he 
formed his attacking columns in three lines 
of battle — at the starting — near half a mile 
apart, with orders to charge the Indians and 
when raised, to deliver a sharp fire on their 
backs. The location and strength of the In- 
dians were in this way determined and the 
points receiving the heaviest fire were at once 

Flanking divisions reached their right and 
left and the savages were driven from their 
hiding places, and eventually put to flight. 
The fields of corn which were then nearing 
harvest time were destroyed and the Indians 
hunted down and shot like deer, whenever 
found. Even squaws and pappooses as they 
were gathering plums in a thicker were fired 
upon and killed. When Wayne was ques- 
tioned as to this mode of warfare he simply 
stated that "Nits make lice. The country is 
lousy with cut-throat red skins." Such 
treatment soon brought the Indians to 
submission, and on the 3d day of August, 
1795, a treaty was made at Greenville, Ohio, 
with the leading tribes, that had been 
troublesome and much land was ceded to the 
United States. However, the Indians re- 
tained and held several valuable tracts in 
the ceded territory, as reservations, which 
in 1S18 and 1826 were finally purchased by 
the general government. Some of these res- 
ervations were along the Wabash near Hunt- 
ington and Peru. One west of Portland, 
and one on the Salamonie west and north of 
Camden, known as Godfrey's Reserve. 
About two miles below Williamsport, in Al- 
len county, on the Saint Mary's river, the 
I^iFountain and Richardville reservations 
! begin and extend for six and seven miles 
toward Fort Wayne. The Rivare reserva- 
tion in Saint Mary's township is the only 



Indian reservation in Adams county. It 
contains about 1,600 acres of land in 
(ions 9. 16 and 21, and is about the 
half-way distance between Saint Mary's, 
Ohio, and Fort Wayne. Until 1832 
the Indians made regular trips from Wapa- 
keoneta and Saint Mary's to Fort Wayne to 
receive their regular annuities on the sale of 
their lands. In 1832 the Indians were re- 
moved to what is now the state of Missouri 
and Kansas. Those that chose to remain 
and submit to the civil laws — made for the 
government and control of the white resi- 
dents — came under the same jurisdictions 
and for violations were subject to the same 
penalties as the white men. A few families in 
which there was more or less white mixture 
remained at their reservations, near Fort 
Wayne, Wabash and Peru. Anthony Shane, 
of Old Town — now Rockford, Ohio, went 
west with his people, at that time. By way 
of diversion, while speaking of the Rivare 
Reservation, we are reminded of a land- 
scape that is almost identical and an exact 
duplicate of the famous battle ground of 
Braddock's defeat on the Monongahela, a 
few miles above Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. 
The Saint Mary's river flows from the 
southeast to the northwest through Saint 
Mary's township; on the west side of the 
river is the village of Pleasant Mills- — at one 
time the largest town in Adams county. To 
the east and north across the river is Spring 
creek, which flows into the Saint Mary's 
river. When standing on the raise just 
where the road crosses Spring creek and 
looking westward yon see a fine level tract 
of perhaps two hundred acres, with its west- 
ern boundary the west banks of the Saint 
Mary's, fringed with forest trees. As you 
stand on the banks of Turtle creek, looking 

southeastward toward the Monongahela 
river, you sec Braddock's battle ground, 
which is nearly exactly such a natural land- 
scape. That ground marks one of the most 
important battles known in American his- 
tory. However, Saint Clair's battle ground 
on the Wabash was perhaps the scene of the 
greater loss of life and the most cruel bar- 
barity of any of equal magnitude in the his- 
tory of Indian warfare. One morning 
while waiting for the train and Greensburg, 
Pennsylvania, to the north and east of the 
railroad, we saw an old cemetery. As it 
was an hour until train time we strolled up 
the hill over that way. The old and moss 
covered slabs of limestone and marble were 
many. But in the distance was a marble 
shaft heavier and more imposing than some 
others near it. By close examination we 
read the following inscriptions: 
South Side. 



— OF— 






North Side. 








Seeing the grave and monument of Gen- 
eral Saint Clair, brought to my recollection 
a description given by one of Wayne's sol- 
diers, as appears in his reminiscences, who 
was one of a company that built Fort Recov- 
ery in 1793-4, two years after the famous 
defeat of Saint Clair. His statements were 
in the following language: "We arrived 
on the ground on Christmas day and pitched 
our tents on the battle ground. When the 
men went to lie down in the tents at night, 
they had to scrape the bones together and 
carry them out to make their beds. The 
next day holes were dug and the bones re- 
maining above ground were buried, six 
hundred skulls being found among them. 
The flesh was entirely off of trie bones and 
in man}' cases the sinews yet held them to- 
gether. After this melancholy duty was per- 
formed, a fortification was built and named 
Fort Recovery, in commemoration of its be- 
ing recovered from the Indians who had 
possession of the g-round in 1791." 

The last organized resistance offered by 
the Indian tribes in Indiana, was just about 
the beginning of the second war with Great 
Britain, or about 1812. At that time Indiana 
was a territory, with but few settlements. 
The British from time to time encouraged 
the restless Indian tribes to hostilities toward 
the frontier residents. Tecumseh, who had 

taken up his residence in Canada, near Mai- 
den, w r as a great agitator, and very in- 
fluential with the most powerful tribes. His 
brother claimed to be a prophet ; and was a 
medicine man, who worked upon the savage 
superstitions and secured their aid and as- 
sistance in a general attack upon the frontier. 
In 181 1, General William H. Harrison was 
governor of the territory, and prepared to 
punish the Indians in the Wabash country 
for their conduct. In June of that year, he 
met them in battle near the mouth of the 
Tippecanoe river and defeated them with 
severe loss. The power of the prophet was 
forever lost and his brother Tecumseh re- 
tired to Canada, and received an officer's 
commission in the British army, and a large 
concession of land for his sen-ices against 
the government of the United States. In 
1819 the military post at Fort Wayno was 
abandoned as a fortress and the. troops and 
supplies removed to a western fort. In 
1832 the Indian reservations on the Auglaize 
and most of them on the Saint Mary's and 
Wabash rivers were abandoned — the red 
man — squaw and pappoose — again started 
toward the setting sun, never more to roam 
the huntinp- p/rounds of their youth. What 
few remained were required to adhere to 
and abide by the civil laws of the white man, 
rather than the tribal laws. 


That the Indian is a distinct race is taken are copper colored, have coarse black hair, 
by common consent. In sever? i respects he high cheek bones, low retreating foreheads, 
is unlike any other race of mankind. All small and inexpressive eyes. heavy 



eyebrows, full, compressed lips, large 
noses, with dilating nostrils; stout, 
heavy, square jaws; light or scanty 
beard, and generally have rather 
round heads, high toward the crown or top. 
Their color varies in different types from a 
light to a dark shade of bronze — some al- 
most black, while others are of a yellow 
tinge. H. B. Schoolcraft, who is considered 
a good authority on the Indian races, says 
that : "The Algonquins occupy a position 
far above mediocrity, and are surpassed only 
by the Dakotas and Iroquois, the latter 
standing in the first rank." The Miamis 
are a distinct branch of the Algonquin tribe. 
Little Turtle was a Miami Indian whose par- 
ents lived on Eel river at "Old Orchard," 
a. few miles northwest of Fort Wayne. He 
died July, 181 2, at the age of sixty-five 
years. It is said that his courage and sagac- 
ity in the estimation of his countrymen 
were proverbial ; and that his example in- 
spired others of his tribe to their best con- 
tinued efforts. He was in command of the 
forces of his tribe in the defeats of Generals 
Harmer and Saint Clair, but was opposed to 
going into battle with General Anthony 
Wayne in 1794, as he foresaw defeat in the 
careful preparations for the event of battle 
as made by that old Revolutionary general. 
Blue Jacket was a Shawnee chief whose 
home, in the last years of his life, was Au- 
glaize, near Defiance, Ohio. He was pres- 
ent at the Braddock's and Saint Clair's de- 
feats, and was a power among his people. 
After the treaty of 1818, with a portion of 
his tribe, he occupied a reservation at Wa- 
pakoneta, Ohio, at which place he died at 
the age of about a hundred years. Colonel 
Johnson, of Piqua, Ohio, who was an Indian 

agent of the United States, describes him as 
a small man, but agile and well formed ; that 
he was far above his tribesmen in knowledge 
and intelligence. 

Pontiac was an Ottawa chief whose oper- 
ations along the Maumee and Wabash rivers 
were very disastrous to the forerunners of 
civilization, the pioneer settlers. He was 
ever the friend and supporter of the French 
trader, and the interests of France. He is* 
said to have been a man "Powerful in per- 
son, commanding in presence, resolute in an 
extraordinary degree. He was possessed 
with a rare gift of oratory and eloquence 
common to very few of his race. He was 
sagacious and subtle and an inveterate ene- 
my of the English." 

Tecumseh was a Shawnee Indian chief. 
born near the Indian village of Piqua, 
Ohio, in 1768, and was an incessant agita- 
tor of his people against the encroachments 
of the white settlers. His theme was that 
the lands were taken from his tribesmen 
without just compensation. He was a 
member of many attacking parties of Indians 
between 1790 and 1813, throughout the 
Northwest Territory. He led an attack on 
the stockades at Fort Recovery, and was 
with his allies at the battle of the "Fallen 
Timbers," and at the battle of Tippecanoe. 
He joined the British under General Proctor 
and engaged in the war of 1S12 against the 
United States, and was killed by an Amer- 
ican or United States soldier at the battle of 
the Thames, in Canada, in October, 18 13 

In the language of one who saw him in 
conference with General Harrison, in 1S11. 
at Vincennes, the following estimate and de- 
scription of him is given: "Tecumseh was 
about five feet and ten inches in height and 



more than usually stout. He had small feet 
and broad shoulders, with a round chest. He 
was powerful and active in his movements. 
His eyes were small but intellectual. Had 
nearly a Roman nose, large mouth and full 
lips. In the opinion of those who attended 
the council, his muscular strength and men- 
tal action corresponded with his high order 

of intellect. When the subject of review of 
the encroachments upon the Indians' lands 
was mentioned he became violent. His vin- 
dictive oratory- spellbound his dusky listen- 
ers. The intelligent, unlettered Tecumseh 
was a man of much natural ability and of 
great influence among his people." 



Though somewhat transient in their rov- 
ing- habits, the Girtys for a time lived in the 
Maumee valley, and the Indian town where 
Saint Mary's, Ohio, is now situated was 
known as "Girty's Town.'"' There were four 
of the Girty brothers — Thomas, James, 
George and Simon. From Butterfield's 
"History of the Girtys" the following inci- 
dents and descriptions are taken : 

Simon Girty, Sr., was an Irishman, who 
settled on the borders of Pennsylvania and 
became an Indian trader. He was killed by 
an Indian in 1751 in a drunken brawl at the 
Girty cabin. John Turner, who lived with 
Girty, at once killed the Indian. He subse- 
quently married the widow and in 1756 was 
taken captive with his family by the Indians, 
carried to the Indian village and tortured to 
death. Turner was tied to a blackened post 
and heated gun barrels were thrust through- 
his body; was scalped, while alive, and 
clubbed while the slow fire roasted him. 
Mrs. Turner and the four children were 
compelled to witness this horrid scene. The 
family were soon separated. Mrs. Turner 
and an infant were taken by the Dela- 
wares v.nd carried to the country near Fort 
Du Quesne. Thomas Girty, the eldest son, 

soon escaped from the Indians and lived a 
useful life; died near the Susquehanna in 
1820. The three remaining boys were 
adopted by the savages — Simon, then fifteen 
years old, going with the Ser.ecas ; James,, 
then thirteen, with the Shawnees, and 
George with the Delawares. They all, ex- 
epi Thomas, remained with the Indians for 
about three years, when as a result of a 
treaty, they were surrendered to the authori- 
ties at Pittsburg. For the next thirteen years 
the employment of the Girty boys was that 
of Indian interpreters and traders' assistants 
on the frontier. Simon Girty acted as scout 
when hostilities broke out between the colo- 
nial forces and the Indians and translated 
Logan's — the Mingo chief — speech in 1776 
to General Gibson, the Indian agent. Until 
1778 Simon Girty sided with the Whigs 
against the Torys and the British. In 
March, 177S, seven of the interpreters and 
Indian traders at Pittsburg (Du Quesne) 
deserted the fort and made their way to De- 
troit to join the British commander, Hamil- 
ton, stationed at that point. Three of these 
— Simon Girty, Matthew Elliott, an Indian 
trader, and Alexander Mc.Kee, also a trader 
— became the most ultra and notoriously de- 



praved opponents of the white settlers and 
American revolutionists. Girty, McKee and 
Elliott took British gold and entered the 
Indian department under regular pay ; Simon 
Girty as an interpreter for the six nations. 
James Girty soon joined his brother and 
went to live with the Indians in the wilder- 
ness of the Maumee and Ohio val- 
leys, among the Shawuees, to carry out 
British military orders. George Gir- 
ty, in 1779, was a lieutenant in 
the Continental army, but went over 
to the enemy and joined the Brit- 
ish Indian department at Detroit as an in- 
terpreter, and was sent to the Shawnees' 
country, with headquarters at Wapakoneta, 
then an Indian town in Ohio. The British 
commandants demanded that these interpre- 
ters take up arms against the frontier and 
they most ferociously did their bidding. 
George Girty married a Delaware Indian 
woman and died near Fort Defiance, Ohio, 
a habitual drunkard. James Girty married 
a Shawnee Indian woman and retired to 
Gosfield, in Canada, and took protection in 
1S12 from the British government. 

He received a regular annuity and large 
landed interests for his services. He was 
tall and commanding in person, and tem- 
perate in his habits. The Girtys were a set 
of murderous traitors, to be reckoned in 
the class of Benedict Arnold. Their oppor- 
tunity to receive British gold could not be 
withstood. Henceforth an ever guilty con- 
science prompted these white savages to be 
unrelenting and barbarous in the extreme. 
Fort 'Henry, now Wheeling; Bryant Station, 
Kentucky, and Saint Clair's defeat, each 
have their revolting tales of cruelty by those 
under their commands. The following de- 
scription of Simon Girty is given by Oliver 

M. Spencer, who when a boy of about fif- 
teen was taken captive in 1792 by the Shaw- 
nee Indians on the Scioto river. He saw 
Simon Girty at the Indian village on the 
Maumee a short distance below Defiance. 

He says that, "The Indian priestess, Cooh- 
Coo-Cheeh, with whom T lived, took me to 
a Shawnee village, where I saw the cele- 
brated Blue Jacket and Simon Girty. Girty 
was a medium sized man with dark, shaggy 
hair, low forehead, his eyebrows contracted 
and meeting above his short, flat nose. His 
steel gray eyes averting the ingenuous gaze ; 
his lips thin and compressed, and the dark 
and sinister expression of his countenance 
to me seemed the very picture of a villain. 
He wore an Indian costume without orna- 
ment. On each side in his belt were stuck 
a silver mounted pistol and at his left hung 
a short, broad dirk knife. He made a number 
of inquiries of me about my family and 
my captivity. Fie spoke of the wrongs he 
had received at the hands of his country- 
men, and of the revenge he had taken. He 
boasted of his victorious exploits, and rais- 
ing the handkerchief from his forehead 
showed a deep scar he said he received at 
Saint Clair's defeat, but said, with an oath, 
that he had sent the damned Yankee officer 
to hell who did it. He ended by saying that 
I would never see home again, but that if 
I would turn ou: to be a good hunter that 
I might one day be a chief." 

In 1784 Simon Girty married Catherine 
Malott, a white girl who had been captured 
by the Indians about 17S0 near the Ohio. 
He was an active adherent to the British 
cause in the war of 1812, and died in iSr8 
near Maiden, in Canada, still in the British 




For many years preceding the Revolu- 
tionary war there was continuous border 
warfare between the advance settlers and 
the French traders and exploring' parties 
northwest of the Ohio river. In 1763 the 
British took formal possession of the west- 
ern frontier, yet there were many French- 
men who were opposed to British rule. In 
1778 the Revolutionary war was vigorously 
progressing along the seaboard, and the 
French line of forts at the frontier were in 
possession of the British. Patrick Henry 
was at that time governor of Virginia. That 
these frontier posts be taken and held for 
the American cause, he sent an armed force 
of about three hundred men under the com- 
mand cf Colonel Rogers Clark to take pos- 
session of the country. In the early win- 
ter of 1778 Clark crossed the Alleghanies 
and descended the Ohio river, captured Ca- 
hokia, Kaskasb'a and Vincennes and moved 
up the Wabash from Vincennes and captured 
a British train of supplies from Detroit in- 
tended for the garrisons. These timely ex- 
ploits gave the northwest territory to the 
American cause, as these posts were never 
Tetaken by the British. By these active mili- 
tary measures at this critical period a repub- 
lican form of government, rather than Brit- 
ish dominion, has ruled and regulated that 
vast fertile region northwest of the Ohio 
river. After victory was won and the wars 
were over, dissensions arose as to the right 
of the various states to the territory north- 
west of the Ohio river. The war debt was 
unpaid, land titles were defective from the 
multiplicity of claimants. At this time Gen- 
eral Rufus Putnam and a few other Revo- 

lutionary soldiers advocated the payment of 
ex-soldiers' claims in western lands. After 
much debate in congress this arrangement 
was agreed upon and the several colonial 
states ceded their claims to the lands north- 
west of the Ohio river to the United States 
government to be disposed of and sold to 
actual settlers. 

In 1783 Virginia ceded her state and colo- 
nial rights northwest of the Ohio to the gen- 
eral government, and on the 13th day of 
July, 17S7, the ordinance became a national 
enactment and the fundamental law of the 
Northwest Territory. The act of the Vir- 
ginia state legislature. December 20, 17S3, 
authorizing her representatives in congress 
to make and execute a (feed of conveyance 
and transfer of her interests northwest of 
the Ohio, and made these exceptions : "That 
the French and Canadian inhabitants and 
other settlers of Kaskaskia, Saint Vincent 
(now Vincennes) and neighboring villages, 
that professed themselves citizens of Vir- 
ginia, shall have their possessions and titles 
confirmed to them and be protected in the 
enjoyment of their rights and liberties. That 
a quantity, not exceeding one hundred and 
fifty thousand acres of laud promised by 
this state, shall be allotted and granted to 
the then colonel, now General George Rog- 
ers Clark, and to the officers and soldiers of 
his regiment who marched with him when 
the posts of Kaskaskia and Saint Vincent 
were reduced, and to the officers and soldiers 
that have been incorporated into the said 
regiments ; that said land to be laid off in 
one tract, the length of which not to exceed 
double the breadth, in such place on the 



northwest side of the Ohio as a majority of 
the officers shall choose, and be afterward 
divided among the said officers in due pro- 
portion according to the laws of Virginia." 
This was known as the "Illinois Grant" or 
as the "Clark's Grant." 

The deed of cession was executed on the 
first of March, 1784, by Virginia's delegates 
in congress — Arthur Lee, Samuel Hardy, 
James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson. In 
October of the same year General Arthur 
Saint Clair was appointed military gover- 
nor of the Northwest Territory and took 
up his residence at Marietta, on the Ohio. 
Later he visited Kaskaskia and appointed 
such civil officers as were necessary for the 
execution of the laws in that region. His 
secretary established civil and military au- 
thority at Vincennes in 1790. The appoint- 
ive officers at this time were militia officers, 
sheriffs, tax collectors, surveyors, constables, 
justices of the peace, and coroners. Indiana 
territory was organized in 1800 and Gen- 
eral William Henry Harrison was appointed 
governor and the seat of justice, or seat of 
government, was removed from Vincennes 
to Corydon. The first territorial general 
assembly was chosen in 1807, and a code of 
laws adopted. Some of the laws then made 
would, today, be considered as semi-barbar- 
ous, to say the least of it. Under the estab- 
lished territorial code horse stealing, arson, 
murder and treason were punishable by 
death. Burglary and robbery were punish- 
able by imprisonment, fine and whip- 
ping; larceny by fine, whipping and 
hard labor; forgery by disfranchise- 
ment and standing in the pillory; hog 
stealing by a fine and whipping; Sab- 
bath breaking, gambling and profane swear- 
ing by a fine; bigamy by a fine, whipping 

and disfranchisement. The ordinance of 
1787 was possible only by the surrender to 
the general government of the colonial 
grants claimed by the original states. This 
preceded the United States Constitution and 
at the time it was adopted was the most 
liberal in its provisions of any national en- 
actment yet made. It granted liberty of con- 
science to every individual to worship God 
according to the methods of his choice with- 
out fear of being molested by law or offi- 
cious rival religious organizations. At that 
date liberty of thought, as we know it to- 
day, was supposed to be an absolute impos- 
sibility. Though religious to a fanatical de- 
gree, the laws previous to this were pat- 
terned after the moth-eaten statutes of Eu- 
rope, dating back to the feudal ages. An- 
other feature of the ordinance was that it was 
not a matter of local interest as a state law. 
It was for all liberty-loving Americans or 
those who wished to become citizens in the 
new republic of the United States. Some 
of the provisions in the territorial laws for 
holding office required the candidate to be 
a landowner and a resident of the territory. 
The principal executive officer was appoint- 
ed by -the President of the L'nited States, 
with the approval of congress. The gov- 
ernor, secretary and part of the legislature 
were appointive officers. The territorial leg- 
islative assembly was to be organized as 
soon as five thousand free male inhabitants 
of full age were registered in the district. 
The first territorial general assembly ap- 
pointed a delegate to the national congress 
of the United States. Each civil and mili- 
tary officer, except the general in command 
of the army, was required to be a resident 
landowner in order to be eligible to hold 
office. Each voter for a representative in 


the territorial legislative assembly must own of what was then Illinois territory that Indi- 

fifty acres of land. Each representative in ana territory had reached the number of 

the legislative assembly must own one hun- twenty-five hundred free male voters who 

dred acres of land. Each member of the each owned fifty acres or more of land. This 

legislative council (senate), the secretary was the first election of legislators in Indi- 

and each of the three judges must own five ana. There were five representatives chosen, 

hundred acres of land. The governor must and the general assembly, so chosen, recom- 

own one thousand acres of land and be a mended six eligible candidates, three of 

resident of the territory. It required five whom were selected by the United States 

hundred votes to be entitled to a representa- congress as the upper house or legislative 

tive in the legislative assembly. The pro- council. A legislature of eight members, 

portional allotment to continue until there with the governor and secretary, seems to 

were twelve thousand and five hundred votes be a primitive beginning, but such was Indi- 

for the twenty-five representatives ; then the ana's territorial "legislative assembly." On 

basis of representation be changed to a the fourteenth day of December, 1815, a 

larger number to each representative. The memorial was adopted by the United States 

members of the legislative council were se- congress autorizing the citizens of Indiana 

lected by the legislative assembly, subject to territory to adopt a state government. And, 

the approval of the United States congress, on the nineteenth day of April, 1816, the 

It was provided that when 60,000 free male President approved a bill enabling the people 

inhabitants in a particular district asked by of Indiana territory to form a constitution, 

petition that a state be organized, that the An election of delegates to the constitutional 

congress of the United States consider such convention was held May 13, 1816. The 

petition. Before the general legislative as- convention met at Condon on the tenth day 

sembly was organized the governor, secre- of June, 1S16, and continued in session 

tary and judges adopted and published such eighteen days and completed Indiana's first 

of the original statutes of the states as they constitution. (Her second constitution was 

deemed proper and necessary. They laid adopted in 1S5 1.) The first state election 

out counties and established seats of justice was held on the first -Monday in August, 

and appointed the necessary officers to aid 1S16, and on the founh day of the next Xo- 

in an execution of the laws. When the land vember the first Indiana state general assem- 

northwest of the Ohio river was ceded to the bly, or legislature, convened at Corydon, in 

general government by Virginia it was what is now Harrison county, the extreme 

known as Illinois county. Ohio was made southern part of the state, and adjourned 

a state in 1S03. The remainder of the ter- its session January 17, 1817. About as soon 

ritory was known as Indiana territory, as the ordinance of 1887 was adopted and 

Michigan territory was organized in 1805. became the fundamental law of the territorv, 

and Illinois, as a part of the United States, General Rufus Putnam and Dr. Jdenasseh 

in 1809 as a territory. In 1S14 Indiana ter- Cutler reorganized the Ohio Land Company 

ritory was divided into five representative and arranged for the purchase and col.onizaT 

districts. This would indicate that exclusive tion of the lands alone the Ohio and tribu- 



fary rivers. This company placed settlers way, through the Hudson and Erie canal to 

on more than three hundred thousand acres Buffalo, thence from Toledo to the mouth of 

of the valley lands of the Muskingum and the Wabash by lake and canal, the pioneer 

Scioto rivers. These settlers crossed the could come by water to his new western 

Alleghames from the east and descended the home. The first steamboat to ascend the 

Ohio river. Others came by the lakes from Wabash river to any distance was in iS'.?^, 

Buffalo, up the Maumee, and across the as will be seen by the following clipping 

portage to Little river, and on to the Wa- taken from the Indiana Oracle of December 

bash at "Flint Springs," where Huntington 
is now located, then on down the Wabash. 
In iSo-j. congress established three offices for 
land entries and sale to settlers. One was 
located at Detroit, in Wayne county; one at 
Viucennes, in Knox county, and one at Kas- 

20, 1823. It is: "The steamboat Florence, 
Captain Donne, ascended the Wabash river, 
being the first boat that ever passed up the 
river." From the Delphi Oracle of March 
20, 1842, the following: "We hear that the 
steamboat lock across the Wabash river at 

kaskia, in Illinois county. Three years later De]phi is comple ted. That seven i ..:... 
one was established at Jefferson ville, in 
Clark county. 

The Indian wars for a time checked im- 
migration until about 1818, at which period 
the Indian power in the Ohio valley was 
forever broken. In 1823 the national road 
from Cumberland, Maryland, was completed 
to Wheeling, West Virginia, and by the 
year 1830 it was finished through the state 
of Ohio to the east line of Indiana; later 
was partly bridged and graded to Vandalia, 
Illinois. This was a wide, well piked road, 
covered with crushed rock and constructed 
with the best of stone arch bridges and cul- 
verts. Upon this great thoroughfare, more 
than sixty feet in width, the "Conistooga" 
wagons could be seen — as a great supply 
tram to a marching arm)- — from sun-up till 
sunset, carrying forward an immense tidal 
wave of humanity to the "far west" country, 
in the Wabash valley. This road passed 
through Zanesviile. near Columbus, Ohio. 
through Richmond. Greenfield, Indianapolis 
and Fcrre Haute. Indiana, and on westward 
into Illinois A little Inter, when Indiana had 
grown a score cf years as a state, a water- 

passed through on their way to New Or- 
leans." One of the histories of Allen coun- 
ty, Indiana, says that : "In November, 1S42, 
a flatboat left Fort Wayne for New Orleans, 
freighted with forty-five thousand hoop- 
poles, two hundred a-id fifty barrels of cran- 
berries, taking two hundred barrels of cran- 
berries at Logansport ; boat owned by Ben- 
jamin Smith, T. J. Lewis and N. D Stew- 
art. Another belonging to some Germans 
left a few days afterward with fifty thousand 
hoop-poles by the way of Delphi to the Wa- 
bash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers." T!u;s- 
we see that settlers could come in by both 
water and land. The Quakers came from 
North Carolina and eastern Pennsylvania 
and began settlements near Dayton. Ohio, 
and Richmond, Indiana. The German'- at 
Cincinnati and Minster, Ohio, and legions 
of liberty-loving citizens of the eastern states 
found desirable homes west of the mountains 
along the valleys of the Wabash, Miami, 
Maumee, Muskingum and Scioto ri\ ers. 
Five-sixths of the first settlers of Adams 
county were pioneers from other states of 



the United States. In the main they were not until after the Indians left, in 1832, that 

from the older parts of the eastern states the general rush for lands began in earnest, 

and knew of the benefits of education and The census as reported on the 21st day of 

church privileges. For these reasons the November, 1850, shows that Adams county 

very rapid settlement and earl)- development then had a population of five thousand seven 

of the county is chiefly due. There were a hundred and seventy-four persons, and ten 

few settlers here as early as 1820, but it was hundred and three families. 


Adams county has but two large streams, 
or natural water courses, the "Wabash and 
the Saint Mary's rivers. Two moraines fol- 
low the courses of these rivers. A short dis- 
tance from the right bank of each as you 
descend the streams are ridges largely com- 
posed of clay soil. Occasionally there are 
beds of gravel found just above the rock, 
where the limestone abounds. These places 
are along the Wabash, in Jefferson and 
Hartford townships; on Big Blue creek, and 
along the Saint Mary's in Washington and 
Saint Mary's townships. Several good sand 
and gravel pits are found within the county, 
but some of them are nearly exhausted from 
the amount of road material used in building 
gravel roads before the macadamized road 
construction was commenced. The gravel 
pit southeast of Geneva supplied about twen- 
ty acres of gravel for the Chicago & Erie 
Railroad that passes through Decatur, and 
the Snyder and Pontius pikes in the south- 
ern part of the county. The Robinson gravel 
pit, about two miles northwest of Decatur, 
has furnished about, five acres of gravel for 
the northern township pike; and the old 
Piqua road pike. Most of the county is un- 
derlaid with rock at the depth of from fifty 
to seventy-five feet from the surface of t':e 

ground, except, perhaps, the southwest 
third of Wabash township and part of south- 
ern Hartford. This includes the "Lob-lolly"' 
shallow pond terminating at its source seven 
or eight miles to the southwest of Geneva in 
some small lakes. It varies in width from a 
quarter of a mile to a mile or more, and is 
intersected at certain intervals by beaver 
dams. It has been recently dredged at the 
cost of nearly forty thousand dollars and 
much of the more elevated parts have been 
reclaimed for agricultural purposes. That 
part referred to southwest of the Wabash 
river is in what the oil producers know as 
the "deep drive" and has hundreds of feet 
of quicksand before rhe rock is reached. The 
Wabash river at the south and the Saint 
Mary's river at the north traverse the county 
in a northwesterly direction for about fifteen 
miles each. The Saint Mary's region is 
somewhat more undulating and the 
river has more current than the 
Wabash river. The Wabash river 
bottoms are more nearly a black loamy 
soil than the Saint Mary's river bottoms, ex- 
cept in Hartford and French townships, 
where they overlay a deep ledge of lime- 
stone. The Wabash river passes through a 
part of Jefferson, Wabash and French town- 

•' . • 


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-- - ._ . . . 
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ships. Its principal tributaries are Indian 
creek, the Limherlost, Lick ran, Canoper 
creek, Dismal run, in Wabash township, and 
Six Mile and several smaller creeks in 
1 iaftford township. The Saint Mary's river 
passes through Saint Mary's, Washington, 
Root and Preble townships. Its principal 
tributaries are Spring run, Big Blue creek, 
Twenty-seven Mile, Ye'low creek, Borum 
run, Lenhart's run, Numbers creek, Seven- 
teen and McKnight's run. In Adams county 
the Saint Mary's carries about three times 
the volume of water that is carried by the 
Wabash river. This is caused to a certain 
extent by the feeder from the reservoir in 
Ohio supplying water power for the mills at 
Saint Mary's. The Wabash river by nature 
is a very crooked stream — in Wabash town- 
ship — and is at this time being dredged and 
straightened through what was formerly the 
farm of Dr. B. B. Snow. The dredging be- 
gins at the mouth of the Limberlost creek 
and extends to the Price bridge, where the 
river crosses the Winchester road. Just to 
the southeast of Berne on what was known 
as the Morgan Smith farm there is a small 
prairie of perhaps ten or fifteen acres. A 
part of this drains into Thompson's prairie, 
t bonce into Big Blue creek and the Saint 
Mary's river. At the south the water flows 
into the Canoper and on into the Wabash 
river. If this water should continue to the 
sea one destination would be the Saint Law- 
rence gulf and the other the Gulf of Mex- 
ico. Generally the land along the Saint 
Mary's river is a sandy loam. That along 
lh« Wabash, ex-cept in Hartford and French 
townships, is black loam bottoms. The up- 
lands are usually a mixed clay and marl that 
is adaptable to almost any crop that can be 
grown in this climate. We are told that as 

early as 1812 there was a trading post at 
Fort Recovery, near the headwaters of the 
Wabash, but a few miles to the southeast of 
Portland, Indiana; that Shane's Crossing, 
or Rockford, as it is now called, is but a 
short distance east of Willshire, Ohio, on 
the Saint Mary's river; that this was a 
trading post as early as 1S1S; that rafting 
and boating from these points was a common 
means of travel, though these streams at 
the present time would be in too low a stage 
of water throughout most of the year to 
carry a boat of much magnitude. As late as 
1865 Caleb Penock rafted walnut and calico 
ash lumber from h ; s mil! or the thill at old 
Buffalo to Huntington, to be shipped over 
the Wabash & Erie canal to Cincinnati. 
That the millers at Willshire sent many boat 
loads of flour to Fort Wayne and interven- 
ing points before the fifties. 

From the geologist's standpoint the lands 
in this section of the country in general may 
be thus described: "The soil is clay over- 
lying the silica and calcareous upper Silurian 
rocks of the Niagara group, in most cases 
the resulting soil being from two to ten feet 
deep. Although fertile, it is inclined to be 
tenacious and the surface of the country be- 
ing rather level the character of the land 
may be designated as frequently too reten- 
tion of moisture except in very dry sea- 
sons." From the above we would readily 
see the need of tiling. The lands that were 
once too wet for cultivation are now drained 
and the very best farms. There seems to be 
one prevailing peculiarity of the ponds and 
sinks in Union and French townships. 
Many of them were small but quite deep; 
not infrequently from three to six feet of 
wate r in a pond covering but an acre or two 
of ground. In Wabash township, east of 



Ceylon, and in French township, just east 
of Vera Cruz, or New Ville, as it was once 
called, the land is more rolling than in any 
other part of the county, but these eminences 
in eastern Ohio, or Pennsylvania, would be 
considered as the most acccssable farming 
tracts. There are but three or four prairie 
tracts within the county, and they were but 
little else than swamps without brush until 
they, were thoroughly drained. The largest 
of these is the Thompson's Trairie, which 
varies from a half mile to a mile and a half 
in width, and is about five miles long. The 
Grim's prairie is about three miles in length 
and the Eelt's prairie and Yellow Creek 
prairie are smaller. The longest one — 
though not the biggest otherwise— is the 
Blue Creek prairie, which was rather a con- 
tinuous chain of small, swamp prairies, ex- 
tending through Monroe and French town- 
ships, with here and there a sort of beaver 
dam or small strip of land between them. In 
many places throughout the country beaver 
dams of two or three feet in height can be 
seen. On the land of Adolph Schugg, in 
section 20, just west of Ceylon, there is a 
beaver dam that required a six-foot cut 
through the bank to drain the pond above it. 
Perhaps the most extensive and largest 
beaver dam in the county is near the center 
of section 15, in Wabash township. It is of 
such size and dimensions that it would pay 
any one interested in this subject to go and 
see it. It is about a hundred yards in length 
and perhaps five or six feet in height ; is situ- 
ated on a tributary to the Canoper creek, on 
the David Long farm. There is no worth- 
less land in Adams county. From the par- 
ticular topography and the richness of its 
soil and the advantages for water and drain- 
age offered bv its rivers and numerous 

smaller streams, it is well adapted to the 
various branches of agriculture. From the 
onion fields in the Yellow creek, Blue creek 
and Thompson's prairies, its rich corn lands 
along the Wabash and Saint Mary's rivers 
and its other fertile and productive farms 
throughout the more elevated parts of the 
county, it may be placed in the first rank as 
one of the leading agricultural counties of 
the state. The central part of the county, 
from near the Wells county line to the east- 
ern part of Blue Creek township, was the last 
of the county settled. It was a string of 
small, wet prairies, following the Big Blue 
creek to near its source. As late as 1867 it 
was known as the "wilds" of Adams county. 
In that year the Ford and McCollum boys 
killed twelve cr fifteen deer in the "wilds" on 
these prairies. Perhaps the last bear killed 
in Adams county died near the Blue Creek- 
prairie in 1S46, in Monroe township. It was 
killed by Daniel Barnhart, who started the 
game in Grim's prairie and finally killed it 
on what is now the Ira Waggoner farm, in 
section 8, in Monroe township. As the srory 
goes, there were several hounds and some 
little dogs in the chase. The hounds stood 
off and bellowed, while the fiests woukl ran 
up and nip Mr. Bruin's legs as he would 
start to run. The bear and his pursuers 
passed near the cabin of the father of "Hunt- 
ing" Perry Andrews, who had a big bulldog, 
who mixed into the chase. He at once 
closed in on the bear, which gave 
him just one good hug, and "Old 
Sank," as he was called, expired 
without even taking time to make his 
will. Mr. Andrews, who was not much 
of a hunter himself, like Washington, who 
is reputed as saying he would rather George 
had told a thousand lies than to have cut that 




. :ic cherry tree, was much worried at the 
loss of his faithful dog, and would rather 
have seen a thousand bears escape than to 
lose that one sturdy dog". Some years later, 
it is said that a tiger was captured near 
Berne, ''ust beyond the prairie — it is report- 
ed to have been blind — and no bulldog 
smasher, like Bamhart's bear. Along in the 
sixties Lewis Mattax vj?s the drainage com- 
missioner of Adarns county. Through his 
energies several large public drains were lo- 
cated. Little Blue creek, that runs to the 
town of Berne, was ditched and Big Blue 
creek, from the cencer of Monroe township 

eastward beyond the township line, was 
opened for good drainage and much valuable 
land was reclaimed for farming purposes. 
Along in the eighties this ditch was extended 
to near the west line of French township, 
passing through a portion of land known as 
the Robinson farm, a tract of about fi /e hun- 
dred acres, in section 12, in Monroe town- 
ship. This ditch provided an outlet for the 
drainage of forest lands and frog ponds — a 
decade before known as the "wilds" of Mon- 
roe township. 

In 1906 this farm was sold for the modest 
sum of forty thousand dollars. 


The French were the first white explorers 
of the lake region and the Ohio valley. Mis- 
sionaries and traders followed the water- 
ways and Indian trails from place to place 
across the country. Most of the angling 
roadways yet remaining were either military 
roads or. Indian trails before settlements 
were begun by the white men. Along the 
navigable streams the raft or canoe was the 
"beast" of burden and the footpaths along 
their banks became the established routes of 
travel. From these well defined trails from 
point to point the desirable ground and the 
most direct and nearest routes were chosen. 
The trader cleared and widened these trails 
for his pack trains to travel over and the 
J'rst routes for early roads were in this way 
located. There are several such trails 
through Adams county. From Fort Recov- 
ery, Ohio, to the Limberlost creek, at "Old 
Buffalo,' ;i an India:', trail running in nearly 
•'• straight line. This is now an angling road, 

that was opened and cut out at state expense, 
along abouL the forties, but was an 
Indian trail from the upper Wa- 
bash to "Flint Springs,''" at near 
Huntington, for many years before 
this time. In 1877 this road was slightly 
changed from Buffalo to the Jay county line 
by being moved to the westward. From the 
Limberlost it was extended northward to the 
Wabash river bank at the Peter Stndebaker 
farm, in section 17, in Wabash township. 
This trail from there continued down the 
river to Deem's ford, east of Bluffton, in 
Wells county. One branch bore to the north 
and went to Fort Wayne, the other went on 
down the river to "Flint Springs" at the 
mouth of Little river, where Huntington is 
now situated. This trace was cut out about 
1S40 at public expense and was known as 
one of the "state roads." A part of this trail 
— that from the Limberlost creek north 10 
the Wabash river — is what later became a 




part of the Winchester road. The Winches- through Salem, in Blue Creek township 
ter road was also a state road and ran nearly (sometimes called Steele) to the Decatur and 
directly north from Winchester through Willshire road, near where Yellow creek 
Portland, Bloomneld and Buffalo, crossed empties into the Saint Mary's river. The 
the Wabash river at what is now known as Willshire and Decatur road was an Indian 
the Price bridge and went on northward to trail on the south side of the river from 
the Saint Mary's river, or to the Reynolds Saint Mary's, Ohio, through Shane's Cross- 
farm on the banks of the river, there inter- ing, Willshire, Pleasant Mills and Decatur, 
sected the Fort Wayne and Wiltshire road— to where it joined the Winchester road at 
another state road that passed through De- the Reynolds farm, in section 20, in Root 
catur to the east and through Williamsport township, then on to Fort Wayne. All of 
and about six or seven miles of Indian reser- the roads so far mentioned are angling roads 
vation to Fort Wayne. This is an earlier and were undoubtedly Indian trails, with the 
road than some of the others, for the reason exception of the Winchester road, that runs 
that Winchester was the county seat of Ran- south from the Sain Mary's river. These 
dolph county, which then comprised Adams, were also state roads, that is, they were lo- 
Allen and several other of the present coun- cated and the trees cut out and removed at 
ties, and it was necessary to reach the county the expense of the state from the three per 
seat on as direct a route as possible. In 1823 cent, fund that was allowed the state on the 
Allen county was organized— the plat of the sale of lands sold within her borders. The 
town of Fort Wayne is on the county rec- funds so derived were applied on opening the 
ords at Winchester. Along the Winchester principal roadways throughout the state, 
road the first mails were carried to Fort each county receiving its proportionate 
Wayne from the county seat. The first post- share of the three per cent, fund on the sales 
office in the south part of the county was of public lands within the limits of such 
known as "Canoper Postoffice." Later county. Another Indian trail extended from 
Canoper postoffice was moved farther north the Godfrey Reservation on the Salamonie 
and located at Jacob Ruple's house in section river, southwest of Balbeck. in Jay 
35, in Monroe township. Soon after this county, to the north of the Lob- 
Limberlost postoffice was established at lolly, down the Limberlost creek 
Alexander, on the Winchester road. It con- to the Wabash river, and down the 
tinued here until 1871, when Geneva took river to "Carington's ford," near the north- 
its place. west corner of section 22, in Wabash town- 
Another road north from Fort Recovery ship, thence in a northeasterly direction to 
and Huntington road was known as the the eastern end of the Thompson's prairie, 
"Quaker Trace," and later the Fort Recov- and on past Big Blue creek, east of Salem, 

ery road, which intersected the Fort Recov- 
ery and Huntington road at die south ter- 
minus, in the vicinity of We?tcherter, in Jay 
county and extended northward 

to the Rivare Reservation, north of the Saint 
Mary's river. This crossed the "Flint 
Springs" and Recovery trail between Alex- 
ander and Geneva. This trail became a pub- 


Corydon into Jefferson township, lie highway : that to the east of Alexander 



was known as the Prairie road and passed 
near the cabin home of Charles R. Stephens, 
Henry Juday, John Bricker, John Cross and 
William O. Jefters, who lived to the 
west of the Wabash river. It crossed 
the river and passed through the 
"Baker settlement," and through or 
near the farms of Tilmon Raw- 
ley, John and Josiah Crawford, Covey Gal- 
loway, Joseph Willson, William Lowe, John 
R. Burge. It is said tnat this road passes 
the home of William Lowe, who is said to be 
the first actual settler in Adams county, he 
having located at the east end of Thomp- 
son's prairie as early as 1820. On this road 
was built the first church in southern Adams 
county. It was built just north of old Alex- 
ander in 1840, a more complete description 
of which is given farther back in this work. 
(See History of Geneva.) The ground 
on and around this church were plat- 
ted July 28, 1S53, at the location of 
the Cincinnati, Union City & Fort Wayne 
Railroad, and called Buffalo. This church 
had stood thirteen years before this time. 
Another church on this road and perhaps the 
third was near Covey Galloway's farm in 
section one in Wabash township. That to the 
west of Alexander, or of the 
Winchester road, was known as the 
Camden road and passed the homes 
of John Pontius, James Glendenning 
and John Watson and Joseph Clendening. 
On this road on the farm of John Pontius 
was the second church in southern Adams 
county and the first one in Hartford town- 
ship. Another trace that became a public 
road left the Fort Recovery & Huntington 
road about a half mile north of the Limber- 
lost creek near the Arthur McHugh farm 
(now owned by Vernon L. Snow), in section 

29, Wabash township, and bore to the 
northeast past the residences — cabin houses 
— of Philemon N. Collins, Andrew McDon- 
ald and David McDonald and crossed the 
Wabash at McDonald's ford, a little above 
where the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad 
bridge crosses the river, then on to the 
northeast, and passes the residences of 
George Myers, Morgan Smith, Jacob Ruble, 
John McConnell, to the north of Thomp- 
son's prairie, and joined the Quaker trace 
near the Ericson farm in Blue Creek town- 
ship. This was known as the Canoper road, 
as was also the postofficc that -was then kept 
at the residence of Jacob Ruble just east of 
where Berne is now located. This read ran 
past the first steam sawmill that was located 
in the south part of the county and near the 
first one in the county. It was erected by 
John R. Burge in 1851. On this road was 
one of the very first, if not actually the first, 
schoolhouse erected in the county. Another 
trace extended from the Saint Mary's river 
near Wiltshire, Ohio, in a soiuhwesterly di- 
rection through Blue Creek township along 
the southern boundary of the Blue Creek 
prairie to Newviile. on the Wabash river. 
This passed through the French settlement 
or neighborhood in northwest French town- 
ship and may have taken its name from some 
pioneer resident. It was known as the 
"Senior trace." Along in the forties a direct 
route was located and established as a road 
from Decatur to Newviile. This road has at 
this time been nearly abandoned by chang- 
ing to the section and half-section lines. This 
was an angling road and crossed the Win- 
chester road near the Washington church, 
about five miles southwest of Decatur. This 
was once one of the most largely traveled 
roads in the county for the reason that it 



connected the Fort Recovery & Huntington 
road with the Decatur and Wii'shire roads, 
the latter of which became a plank road in 
1852-3. The Piqua road, or "Wayne trace," 
as it is frequently called, was doubtless an 
Indian trail, is on the north side of the Saint 
Mary's river, crossing it at Willshire, Ohio, 
and passing on eastward to Shane's Cross- 
ing and Saint Mary's, Ohio, at the east and 
to Fori Wayne at the northwest from De- 
catur. This road was planked to about a 
mile north of Decatur from Fort Wayne in 
1852-3. The Wayne trace enters Adams 
county about a mile to the northwest of 
Willshire, Ohio, passes through the Rivarc 
Reservation, in Saint Mary's township, and 
across Washington and Root townships. It 
passes near the "Great Northern Indiana 
Fair Grounds (Steele's Park) and through 
Monmouth, one of the oldest towns in the 
county. This road was famous for its tav- 
erns. At an early day about every other 

house was a tavern, and all did a good busi- 
ness from 1840 to about 1865. This road 
was one of the routes of travel with supplies 
for the troops garrisoned at Fort Wayne 
after Wayne's victory over the Indians in 
1794 till the garrison was removed and the 
fortress abandoned as a military post in 
1819. There is also another military road — 
perhaps the route located by General Har- 
mer in 1790. It angled in a southeasterly 
direction across the northeast corner of 
Union township, toward Shane's Crossing, 
in Ohio, at which place Wayne's army 
crossed the Harmer trail in the route from 
Fort Jefferson, south of Greenville, to the 
Miami village Kekionga at what is now Fort 
Wayne. Harmer's trace has been largely 
abandoned and the angling road from a few 
miles east of Williamsport, in Allen county, 
runs on the section line routes through Mas- 
sillon and Liberty and on et st and south into 


It was John Howard Payne, of East 
Hampden, Long Island, when far away in a 
foreign land, who wrote that immortal song, 
"Home, Sweet Home." His boyhood rec- 
ollections of that old-fashioned cottage half 
covered with vines and shadowed by the na- 
tive forest trees about the dooryard, ever 
held the foremost place in his memory as 
?the prettiest place in the world. What Hoo- 
sier lad or lassie can say less of his or her 
childhood home surrounded by nature's 
handiwork? What native landscapes can ex- 
ccll her forest.- with massive oak, giant po;>- 
lar or useful hickory tree:- ? The boy or the 

girl of today -hasn't even the dream of an 
idea of what they were in their rustic gran- 
deur. Could one again see those innocent, 
hopeful childhood days, Avhen each pebbly 
brook was full of shining minnows, waiting 
to be caught with sewing thread lines and 
bent pins for hooks. When each green bush 
was a home of the singing birds. Where 
the pheasant's whirr, as he starts from the 
ground before you. makes you jump in sur- 
prise, or the woodpecker on the dead limb 
near you, drumming for his mate, makes 
melodious music to the ears of chUdhood. 
When every forest grove was alive with 

1; If ■ 'y^iitt 


J » 

H-. I 



ad m\z ; km mm 

Iv^fe ■ 






. *- •- . 




birds and barking squirrels; while the morn- 
ing sunshine male the landscape a paradise. 
Amid these scents our forefathers, the pio- 
neers, chose the sites for their cabins, the 
future homos of their children, now the old 
men and women of today. They laid the 
foundation for the structure we now occupy, 
in all our forgetfulness, of what this country 
cost them. Their customs then were not as 
now, as conditions have changed, but they 
were free, happy and contented, beginners 
alike in a new country. Their sociability 
and neighborly acquaintance could not be 
excelled in any age or land. But there is 
another side to the picture. When one sees 
the butterflies of fashion hitting along the 
street he would hardly suppose that their 
grandparents were obliged to dress in home- 
spun flannels or blue and black plaid linsey, 
fight mosquitoes, dose themselves with calo- 
mel and quinine and shake with the ague 
while listening to the croaks, and hoots, and 
howls of frogs and owls and wolves. They 
— their grandchildren — eat iced cream, at- 
tend the skating rinks, baseball games and 
operas and imagine that they are burdened 
almost to death with cares. Or, perchance, 
are worried nearly to destruction because 
the. latest haby buggy isn't of the most mod- 
ern pattern. They would perhaps have you 
speak in whispers about the old gourd dipper 
in their grandmother's kitchen; or of the 
sugar trough cradle that a baby boy — their 
papa — was rocked in when he was the 
"prince" of the cabin home. Perhaps a lit- 
tle more actual privation and pioneer ex- 
perience might make some people think of 
what they really need and more full}' appre- 
ciate what they have and enjoy today. In 
t>'e early days of the pioneer this country 
Was the hunter's paradise, and many of the 

first settlers were fond of the chase. The 
rivers and creeks teemed with the finest 
fish, among winch were the pike, the bass 
of several varieties: bluegills, eels, catfish, 
redhorse, etc. The waters were clear and 
in the springtime fish were shot and speared. 
Deer were then more plentiful than sheep 
are today. Wild turkeys were seen in great 
flocks of a hundred or more at a time. Squir- 
rels, raccoon and bears were a constant men- 
ace to the cornfields from roasting-ear time 
till the corn was gathered. Wolves and 
bear were plenty and very destructive to 
calves, pigs and sheep. 

When Adams county was first settled 
there were plenty of wild hogs in the woods. 
They were about as shy as deer, and many 
of them were dangerous. They could run 
like a deer and scale an ordinary fence like 
a dog. These were also a nuisance and both- 
ersome when the corn was maturing. The 
domesticated hogs were fed but little grain 
and fattened principally on the acorn and 
hickory nuts that grew by the thousands of 
bushels along the river and creek bottoms. 
Cattle and horses were let run on the range 
and found ample pasturage the greater part 
of the year. During the summer months 
the cattle were followed home in the even- 
ings by great clouds of mosquitoes, which 
were frequently smoked away by a slow 
fire in the stable yard. The early laws 01 
the state offered a bounty on wolf scalps, 
whicn included the top part of the head and 
ears. It is said that there were a few that 
went into the wolf scalp raising business for 
revenue only. In those days forest fires 
were common in the fall and early winter. 
These removed the leaves so the hunter 
could more easily move from place to place 
unobserved. They also killed the young 



and tender sprouts and left the woods com- 
paratively open and free from underbrush, 
except in the low swamps or wet prairies. 
The woods were of the finest forest trees of 
oak, ash, poplar, elm, hickory and walnut. 
These were cut down and burned in great 
log heaps, as there was no market for them, 
and they occupied ground that the pioneer 
wanted for his fields of grain. The cabin 
in the clearing was surrounded by tree 
stumps that were years in rotting away. 

The following description may give some 
idea of a model country home along in the 
forties in Adams county. Most of the dwell- 
ings were single-room cabins, varying in 
size and furnishings, owing to the taste and 
finances of the owner. An old resident thus 
describes his boyhood home : "Our house 
was a single-room cabin of round logs with 
puncheon floor and clapboard roof. At the 
front we had a porch. The last two end logs 
to the square projected out six or eight feet 
to the one side for the porch. The clapboard 
roof was held in place by weight poles. The 
puncheon floor was hewed smooth on the 
upper side and was substantial and solid. 
It had a stick chimney plastered with mud, 
with "nigger head" hearth and fireplace. 
The dqor hung on wooden hinges, and was 
made of thick clapboards. Our loft had a 
clapboard floor, and we went up stairs on a 
ladder made of iron-wood poles. The open- 
ings between the logs were chinked with 
small pieces of wood and daubed with clay 
mortar. We had plenty of fresh, air from 
f above, as the clapboard floor was not very 
closely laid. We had two pole beds with 
one post each. The two back corners of the 
room, by means of an auger hole in the logs 
at the side and end of the wall, made good 
sides and end fastenings. Over these sides 

smaller poles were placed and held by linn 
bark tied at the ends, which made a veiy 
comfortable bed. Now to save light and 
fuel and for general convenience we ar- 
ranged to have our kitchen, dining room, 
sitting room and parlor all in the same room, 
and when the occasion demanded it we con- 
verted this room, which was about sixteen 
by twenty feet in size, into a shoe shop, a 
corn-grating shop, a spinning and weaving 
room and sometimes used it for a gun shop, 
spinning room and ax-handle factory. So 
thus the years came and went and we en- 
joyed them in our simple cabin houses and 
were happier in our freedom than a king on 
his throne. Then every settler knew every 
man, woman and child in the neighborhood 
and could count them without much trouble 
or figuring." It would doubtless give the 
reader a more general idea of the home of 
the pioneer settler if some quotations were 
given from their experiences, as related by 
themselves in a biographical work on Adams 
county, published more than twenty years 

Christian F. Blakey, of Union township, 
states: "We started from Cincinnati with 
one horse and an ox team, accompanied by 
our family, to make our home in Adams 
county. The roads were so muddy that 
they were nearly impassable. We were 
obliged to leave a part of our household 
goods at New Bremen, Ohio. We took the 
hind wheels of our wagon and improvised 
a cart upon which we packed the most neces- 
sary articles and again started for our Indi- 
ana home, tiie mother and children walk- 
ing. In this way we made about five miles 
a day. camping out at night, and landing 
in our" new home on the 27th day of No- 
vember, 1840. We cut two crochet poles. 



set than on the ground, connected them with 
a pole and stretched the v-.gon cover ever 
it. In this we lived until \\c got our rough 
log house ready to rno\ e into. This was the 
day before Christmas the same year." We 
are told that Daniel Hines was the first per- 
manent white settler in Union township. 
That the Blakey family came in 1S40 and 
were the second permanent residents of the 

Jacob Yager, whose boyhood days were 
spent in Preble township, says that: "We 
came to Adams county in 1834. The land 
had no improvements whatever, Wolves, 
bear, etc., were uncomfortably plenty. The 
deer and other game had been almost en- 
tirely undisturbed My father bought one 
hundred acres of land for one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars. The family went to 
work with a will. Tree after tree was felled 
and acre after acre was cleared, until this 
part of the wilderness became a productive 
farm. The old log cabin with its puncheon 
floor, after many years' faithful service was 
supplanted by modern buildings. At that 
time there were very few settlers. There 
was no county seat in Adams county in 

1834 and land deeds were recorded at Fort 

•William P. Rice, of Root township, who 
was a powerful man physically in his young- 
er days, cleared up and improved several 
farms in Adams county. The last owned 
was the "Bell View" farm east of Decatur. 
He says: "We came to this state in 

1835 and went to work in the woods on 
some land our father had entered from the 
government in the previous spring. We, 
Benjamin and mystelf, built a log cabin one 
story high with puncheon floor, clapboard 

roof and an old-fashioned wooden chimney 
with the back and jambs of mud. We board- 
ed with Benjamin Pillars, a brother-in-law 
who settled here in 1034. The rest of the 
family came in the spring of 1836. In a 
few years father built a better log house. 
It was a story and a half and built of hewed 
logs. 1 remained at home until I was of 
age, and went to work for myself, doing 
anything I could find to do, principally clear- 
ing land, splitting rails and chopping wood, 
until I earned money enough to enable me 
to enter forty acres of land. I worked for 
George A. Dent at eleven dollars a month 
till I could pay for it. I then built a shanty, 
cleared my land and married a wife in 1843, 
and borrowed the money to pay the preacher 
for performing the ceremony. Y\ e moved 
into our shanty and went to housekeeping. 
Our household goods consisted of three 
knives, three forks, six cups and saucers, 
six plates and two tin cups. Our bedstead 
was made of poles and the bed rope was 
made of bark." William Pendleton Rice 
has gone but "Bell View" is a lasting evi- 
dence of what his determined perseverance 
has done. Several other phases of the p;e- 
neer life may be shown by the following 
poem written by John Finley, an early resi- 
dent of Richmond, Indiana. He thus de- 
scribes a cabin home as he saw it along in 
the thirties. It was perhaaps but a sample of 
the many "Hoosier's nests" of that period. 
Adams county's early historian says that 
one of the first dwellings built for actual 
resident settlers in this county was located 
at the east end of Thompson's prairie. This 
may or may not have been the historical 
cabin made famous bv the poetic verse: 




I'm told in riding somewhere west 

A stranger found a Hcosier's nest. 

In other words, a Buckeye cabin. 

Just big enough to hold Queen Mab in. 

Its situation, low but airy, 

Was on the border of ? prairie, 

And, fearing he might be benighted, 

He hailed the house and then and there 

The Hoosier met him at the door. 
Their salutations soon were o'er. 
He took the stranger's horse aside 
And to a sturdy sapling tied : 
Then, having stripped the saddle off, 
He fed him a sugar trough. 
The stranger stooped to enter in 
The entrance closing with a pin, 
And manifested strong desire 
To seat himself by the log-heap fire 

Where half a dozen Hoosieroons 

With mush and milk, tin cups and spoons, 

White heads, bare feet and dirty faces 

Seemed much inclined to keep their places. 

But madam, anxious to display 

Her rough but undisputed sway, 

Her offsprings to the ladder led 

And cuffed the youngsters up to bed. 

Invited, shortly, to partake 

Of venison, milk and Johnnie-cake, 

The stranger made a hearty meal, 

And glances round the room would steal. 

One side was lined with divers garments, 

The other spread with skins of varmints. 

Dried pumpkins overhead were strung, 

Where venison hams in plenty hung. 

Two rifles placed above the door, 

Three dogs lay stretched upon the floor, 

In short, the domicile was rife 

With specimens of Hoosier life. 


In 1832 over eleven hundred Indians 
were removed westward from the W abash 
valley and from the headwaters of the Saint 
Mark's river near Girty's town, now Saint 
Mary's, and near Wapakbneta, Ohio, to 
the territory west of the Mississippi river to 
"what is now the state of Kansas. The In- 
dians' titles having been extinguished and 
the means of travel having been much im- 
proved, emigration to this region began in 
•earnest along about 1834. From thac time 
until i860 was the era of settlement in 
Adams county. What was Root township 
in Allen county in 1833 became all of Adams 
county in 1836 By an act of the general 

assembly on the 23d day of January, 1836, 
Adams county, Indiana, was organized. A 
writ of election was issued by the governor 
and the first election was held on the first 
Monday of April, 1S36. The first board of 
county commissioners was composed of 
Joshua S. Rhea, Samuel Smith and William 
Heaih, Sr. On May 18th, in 1836, the seat 
of justice, or the county seat, was established 
at Decatur. What is now twelve townships 
was divided into Root and Saint Mary's 
townships. Ou the following August Saint 
Mary's township was divided south of the 
center by a line running east and west and 
Wabash township was org.vri.-cd. In July, 

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jKiS, WVhingiori township was made from 
'..irt of Root and Saint Mary's townships 
and B hie Creek was taken from Saint 
Mary '?, and Jefferson from Wabash town- 
shio. In 1S38 Preble township was organ- 
ized from part of Root, and in May, 1839, 
l-'icnch township was made from a part of 
Saint Mary's township. In 1840 Monroe 
township was taken from Saint Mary's 
township, and on the following September 
Union was made from part of Root town- 
ship. Hartford was taken from Wabash 
and Kirkland from Washington in 1S41. 
With the foregoing explanation one can 
readily see how a resident could have lived 
in Root township, in Allen county, in 1S33, 
and in any township in what is now Adams 
county at the same time. Or he could have 
lived in what was later Saint Mary's town- 
ship and his residence be located in what is 
now French township. The following list of 
early settlers is by no means complete, but 
will give an idea of whom some of the earli- 
est residents really were : 

IN 1819. — Henry Lowe settled first on 
the Godfrey trace at the east end of what is 
known as the Thompson's prairie. This is 
in section 29, on or near what has been 
known as the Pruden farm, in Blue Creek 

IN 1820. — Robert Douglas came as one 
of the second residents. He settled on the 
Saint Mary's river, in section 20, in Root 
township. His land comprised part of what 
was used as a military camp ground on the 
Reynolds farm. Within the same year — 
^820 — William Robinson moved to the lo- 
cation occupied by Henry Lowe and stayed 
tr>ere foi two years and returned to Green- 
viise, O'.iic. His place was then taken — in 
! "-- — by a man whose name was Thomp- 

son, after whom the cabin in the clearing and 
the prairie were named. Thompson's cabin 
was one of the earliest stopping places of the 
"wayfaring man" and trader in the thirties. 
Thompson died in 1831 and was the first 
resident white man of whose death there is 
any authentic record in the present Adams 
county. However, it is stated that six of 
Wayne's soldiers, who died while returning 
from Fort Wayne in 1794, are buried in the 
old Shaffer graveyard, southeast of where 
Bobo, in Saint Mary's township, is situated. 

IN 1821. — A Mr. Ayres, an English refu- 
gee, settled near Twenty-f cur-mile creek, on 
what was the Acker and later the Shaffer 
farm. This is on the "Wayne trace," and 
Mr. Ayres was one of the first permanent 
residents in the northern part of the county. 

In 1822-23 Root township, Allen county, 
was surveyed by the United States govern- 
ment surveyors, Worthington and J. W. 
Riley. Fort Wayne and Wiltshire, Ohio, 
were at that time laid out as towns and some 
buildings commenced, though each were 
trading posts, and Fort Wayne a military 
post for a long time prior to this elate. 

IN 1828. — Joshua Lister settled near the 
Wayne trace in Root township, northwest of 
Monmouth. One of his sons, Ezra, recently 
died in Decatur at an advanced age. 

IN 1829. — John Ross entered a tract of 
land near the mouth of Big Blue creek in or 
near section 28, in Saint Mary's township. 
He was a permanent resident here for more 
than the next thirty years. 

IN 1830. — Joseph Mann settled in Preble 
township near what was later the Winches- 
ter road. He was a permanent resident. 

IN 1S31 came John Reynolds, who set- 
tled on the Saint Mary's river below where 
Decatur is now located and was one of the 



proprietors of the present town site. In 1832 
Samuel L. Rugg became interested with him 
in promoting the town of Decatur. 

IN 183.2 — John K. Evans settled on the 
Wayne trace, northwest of Monmouth, and 
became a large land owner and permanent 
resident. He also became associate judge 
for the district of Allen county, which at 
that time comprised Adams county. In this 
same year Joel Roe and William Eorani 
came and settled above Decatur on the Saint 
Mary's ri\er on the lands now owned by 
Conrad Gillig and Elmer Johnson and the 
Myers estate. They were permanent resi- 
dents. About t'.iis time Samuel L. Rugg 
took up by entry the lands where part of De- 
catur is situated. He was also a permanent 
resident and was the first justice of the 
peace of Root township, Allen county. His 
appointment was from the Allen county 
board of county commissioners in 1S33. In 
this year Root township, Alien county, was 
organized on petition of Samuel L. Rugg. 
Tin's same year came Esaias Daily and Jere- 
miah Roe. Mr. Daily, to what is eastern 
Saint Mary's township, was a tavern keeper 
on the Wayne trace, was also a stock dealer 
and fanner. Mr. Roe settled near his broth- 
er above Decatur, was a trader and said to 
be a very successful hunter. 

IN 1833.— Peter Studabaker, Robert Sim- 
ison and Daniel Miller came to 
the Wabash in the southern part 
of Root township (it was then), 
but now Wabash and Hartford town- 
ships. Peter Studabaker had lived en the 
Wabash at Fort Recover}- and later in 1S19 
or 1820 Hlbved to Jay county, just south of 
the Adams county line near Jay City. Rob- 
ert Simison became a permanent resident in 

1S35, settling at what is row Eeuna Vista, 
a town la.'d out by Mr. Simison in 1857. Mr. 
Studabaker died in )8_;o at his home in Wa- 
bash township. Mr. Simiscn is yet living, 
the writer having interviewed him at the 
home of his son in Blufiton, Indiana, in the 
spring of 1907. He is now ninety-five years 
old and has a remarkably good memory for 
a man of his age. 

IN 1833 and 1834 the following per- 
sons came to the county and were permanent 
residents : Ezekiel Hooper, James Niblack, 
Benjamin F. Gorslins, John S. Rhea, Enos 
W. Butler, Samuel Smith, Marvin R. Gors- 
line, Benjamin Pillars, Eli Zimmerman and 
William Lewis. 

IN 1S35 — Zachariah Smith, William P. 
Rice, James M. Wilson, Benjamin Pillars, 
Vachel Ball, Thomas Ruble, David Mc- 
Knight, William Heath, Sr. ; Robert D. 
Tisdale and William Vance. 

IN 1836. — Henry Juday, Levi Russell, 
Perry McDaniels, Michael Eiey, Alexander 
Bolds, RiesenTodd, John H. Fuelling, Reub- 
en Lord, Sampson Rice, Elisha V. Elzey, 
William D. Drummond, Justin Mann, 
George Conrad, Dedrich Buuck, Enos 
Mann, Andrew Daugherty, Charles W. Mer- 
ryman, John B. Holthouse. George A. Dent 
and Benjamin B. W'inans. 

IN 1837 were John Defrenbaugh, Jose- 
phus Martin, Morgan Smith, Salem Clen- 
denin, James Glendening, Samuel Sacket, 
Denison Tinkham, Lewis Andrews, Joseph 
T. Johnson, Peter Kizer, John Johnson, 
Abraham Sommers, Henry- D. Fuelling, 
Noah Glass, John Reynolds. Henry Gerke, 
William McConnehey and Benjamin Rice. 

IN 183S were Josiah Crawford, Samuel 
Linton, Edward Shepherd, George Frank, 



Davie! Wisner, Enoch Bunner, J?.cob Yager, 
Samuel Steele, Robert D'rummond, Jacob 
Cline, Francis J. Gillig. 

IN 1839. — Jacob Abnett, John Rumple, 
Daniel Miller, Robert Daniels, Henry Martz, 
David Erwin. James Patterson, Ebenezer 
Roebuck, Daniel Kines and Lawsoh Len- 

•IN 1840 were Lewis Mattax, Amos 
Gulic, James Dailey, Tilmon Rawley, Covey 
Galloway, James Robinson, William Abnett, 
John McConnell, Stephen R. Cowan, John 
W. Peterson, Robert Niblick. David Steele, 
John Meibers, J. D. Nutman, Daniel Jack- 
son, Henry Dirks, Anthony Kohn, 
Danie! Coffee, George Fettich, George 
Spuller, Timothy Coffee, John Closs, 

Dr. William 

'rout, William E. 

Beineke, Philip Hartman, Benjamin F. 
Blossom, C?orgc Cline, John Fonner, Joseph 
Miller and Christian Blakey. 

From 1840 on there was a constant 
stream of emigration into Adams and ad- 
joining counties. However, the earliest resi- 
dents were subjected to many inconveniences 
that were unknown to those who came a few 
years later, yet a better day was soon to 
dawn. Canals and railroads were to carry 
the lumber to the eastern ports. The Wa- 
bash & Erie Canal was opened in 1S43 from 
Lake Erie at Toledo to Lafayette, then the 
head of boat navigation, on the Wabash. The 
Ohio & Pennsylvania Railroad, now the 
Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago, was put 
in operation in 1855, anc ' from that time on 
to the present time there has been a market 
for timber and means for transportation for 
lumber in its various forms. The first de- 
mands were tor hoop poles, barrel staves and 
heading material. Mills and factories were 
located along the canal and the railroad 

lines. It is said that Monroeville, the near- 
est railroad town to Decatur for fifteen 
years, had seven heading and stave factories 
all in operation at the same time. Next the 
market opened up for walnut, poplar and 
calico ash timber; tin's was shipped in saw 
logs and later in lumber to eastern cities. 
Later the massive oaks were cut and hewed 
to. the square as long and large as they would 
make for ship timber. This was mostly for- 
warded by the way of the canal and northern 
lakes to the ocean ports, where it was re- 
loaded for European markets. There were 
but few saw milis until there was a market 
for the lumber. The early ones were water 
("muley") mills of small capacity. In 1823 
steamboats began to run on the Wabash 
river— though keel boats and rafting car- 
ried merchandise and produce to market on 
the rivers at a much earlier date. The great 
National road was completed through Ohio 
about .1830. This was a direct route from 
Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, West 
Virginia, which is on the Ohio river; from 
there westward to Zanesville and a little 
north of Columbus and Piqua, on to Rich- 
mond, Greenfield and Indianapolis. Indiana. 
About this time many of the large Indian 
reservations in Ohio, and particularly those 
in the Wabash river valley, were bought by 
the United States government and offered 
for sale to actual settlers. Numbers of the 
early settlers came from the eastern states — 
as Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland — 
over the National road. From this great 
thoroughfare they came in on the Piqua and 
on the Fort Recovery and Huntington roads 
to Adams county. 

It is said that these roads were cut into 
great ''chuck holes" by the constant driving 
in wet weather; and that some inventive 

4 6 


"Yankee" on the ways and means commit- 
tee devised a method to help the movers out 
and aid the shillings to find his own trousers 
pockets; that the Piqua road, or Wayne 
trace, in many places became almost impass- 
able. That from VYiilshire to Fort Wayne 
it was allotted in sections of a mile or two 
each to ox-team owners, who levied tolls on 
the movers who got "stuck" in the low 
ground, mad and chuck holes; that the 
rate for pulling them out was a shilling for 
one hole or two chuck holes for a quarter of 
a dollar; that in the late fall and spring- 
time the "chuck-hole business" along this 
road was excelled only by the tavern busi- 
ness, which included nearly every dwelling 
house along the line. Though most of the 
early settlers of Adams county were from 
the easiern states, there were certain settle- 
n, ments of French, Swiss and Germans direct 
from Europe. The census of 1S50 shows a 
French settlement in southern Kirkland and 
northern French townships; A German set- 
tlement in western Root and northern Preble 
townships, and a German settlement in 
northwestern Wabash and southwestern 
Monroe townships. At that time Hartford 
township reported but one German family, 
and Jefferson three German residents. Along 
about this time me speculators and land 
companies had their agents at work, sending 
shiploads of emigrants to take up farms in 
the fertile river valleys. Many an eighty- 
acre farm in Adams and adjoining counties 
was paid for with French or German gold at 
a few dollars an acre. Before 1S35 there 
were very few white residents in Adams 

county. Mills were in distant settlements, 
roads were but Indian trails or "by-roads," 
from one clearing to another. No streams 
were bridged. The earliest and nearest 
trading post to Adams county was Shane's 
Crossing until 1823, when Willshire had its 
beginning. Monmouth, the oldest town in 
the county, began in May, 1S36. Soon the 
trading posts were supplanted by the coun- 
try store. The civil townships were organ- 
ized and taxes were paid to build roads and 
bridges. Settlements united and a well de- 
fined local government was instituted. About 
this time the trapper and fur trader moved 
further back from civilization and the actual 
settler began his clearings. He had well 
defined plans and had come to stay and de- 
velop the resources of the country. Mills 
were set up and started — a sure evidence of 
a new civilization. The blacksmith, the 
cooper and the wagon-maker each found 
something in his line to do. The potter, the 
tanner, the hatter and the weaver each did a 
profitable business. With her public utili- 
ties conducive to travel and transportation 
began a marked period of rapid development 
of the country's resources. In 1871 her first 
railroad was put into operation. This af- 
forded additional facilities for markets and 
convenient transportation of products. A 
continuous advancement and steady im- 
provement of the lands by drainage and the 
roads by bridging, grading and piking has 
changed the country from a huge native for- 
est to a checker-board of grain fields, green 
meadows and pleasant country hemes. 




We are told that patriotism emanates 
from the love of home and native land. The 
early residents of the "far west," as this 
country was called a halt" century ago, 
looked forward to the Fourth of July, the 
nation's birthday, as a special muster day, 
on which oratory and other animating stim- 
ulants would kindle the fires anew of the 
nation's devotion to the men whose names 
were once at the masthead of the ship of 
State, and who are responsible for floating 
the stars and stripes from sea to sea and 
from the lakes to the gulf. These celebra- 
tions were but outbursts of patriotic devo- 
tion. At that time many men were 
yet upon the public stage of ac- 
tion whose reminiscences are now his- 
tory. The late Civil war has somewhat 
changed the public mind toward Decoration 
Day as a nation's commemoration day, and 
the leading lights in the dark and dangerous 
days of the American Revolution and the 
second war with England are to a certain 
extent eclipsed by the more recent achieve- 
ments in holding the great American repub- 
lic together as a federation of states, by one 
of the most sanguinary conflicts of the pres- 
ent century. Before the late war the na- 
tion's chief enemy was Great Britain. Pub- 
lic sentiment at home was as of one man — 
Inaf of mutual defense and protection 
ayamst all interfering foreign powers. For 
il hals been truly said that "when there is a 
Foreign foe within the lines of 
"'V own domain; when an ene- 
n:> 's torch has been set to our 
prte{*rbns cities; when the boom of cannon 
'•'■ "' '-' distance and the pealing roll of the 

enemy's drums sound nearer and nearer 
upon our ears ; when we see our friends and 
neighbors hurrying forward with young and 
helpless children, fleeing from the wrath and 
destruction of an invading army, we are 
easily brought to the realization of the price- 
less value of liberty and native land." France 
was also a mutual rival and enemy of Eng- 
land's dominion and was a trusted and re- 
liable friend of the stars and stripes and all 
that they meant at that time to the American 
republic of the United States. From the 
personal reminiscences of Christopher Stah- 
ley, a recent resident of Logan county, Ohio, 
who died a few year ago at the advanced 
age of one hundred and four years and who 
also was one of the last survivors of the 
"grand army" of Napoleon Bonaparte, we 
take the following extract: "I became a 
soldier at fifteen and was one of thirty thou- 
sand men who went with Napoleon to Egypt 
and was one of the first to enter Malta. 1 
was with my command at the pyramids and 
participated in the terrible conflict with the 
Mamelukes. Then across the desert and 
through the isthmus of Suez to Gaza and 
Joppa and saw the one thousand five hun- 
dred men put to death for breaking their 
parole, and helped to annihilate the allied 
army of eighteen thousand men at Aboukir. 
It was in 1804 that we helped to proclaim 
him emperor and saw the preparations made 
to invade England. But England was 
spared and Austria was punished instead. 
* * * Three years of preparation and we 
were on the road to the capital of Russia in 
that memorable campaign of 1S12. There 
were four hundred eighty thousand of us 



went forth to glory. Less than half of that 
number returned, and the most of them af- 
ter being detained as prisoners. I saw them 
fall by battalions at Smolensk and Borodino 
and perish by grand divisions on the retreat 
from Moscow to Smorgoni. I personally 
attended the emperor to France, when he 
bade adieu to his soldiers at the latter city. 
* * * I was one of the Old Guard. There 
is a blank in my memory and I do not 
know how I got back to Paris, but found 
myself there, and learned that my old com- 
mander was a prisoner at St. Helena. Then 
came the news of his death. 1 had taken 
part in fifty engagements, great and small, 
and had seen men die by the thousands, but 
that death affected me more than all the 
rest put together." The French as a people 
and as a nation were pleased to note our 
national prosperity and sympathized with us 
in our trials and defeats. Upon hearing of 
the death of General Washington, Napoleon 
Bonaparte, then first consul of France, an- 
nounced the news to the army and com- 
manded that black crape be suspended from 
all the standards and flags of France for ten 
days. From the close of the Revolutionary 
war until 1S15 England secretly plotted the 
destruction of the American republic of the 
United States, and when America said "a 
foreigner can be naturalized and thus be- 
come an American citizen and enjoy all the 
rights and privileges as such,'" the British 
lion roared back, "Once an Englishman al- 
ways an Englishman," and sent her Bark- 
ley, Brock, Gibbs and Packingham, fully 
armed, to prove it. The world knows the 
verdict. Commodore Oliver H. Fern.' writes 
his superior officer: "We have met the 
enemy and they aare ours," etc. Then Old 
Glory ascends the spire of every public build- 

ing in the land and waves victory to the 
world, while ten thousand tongues tell us 

"The tenth of Septcmber 
Let us all remember 
As long as the world 
On its axis goes round. 
Our tars and marines 
On Lake Erie were seen 
To make the proud flag 
Of Britain come down." 

Packingham and Gibbs met our own An- 
drew Jackson and the merry strain of song 
goes on : 

"General Jackson was not scared at trifles 
For he knew what aim we took with our 
Kentucky rifles." 

From that day to the present time "Han 
Hinglishman hasn't been han Hinglishman." 
Frequently the occasion selected for pub- 
lic celebration was on the birthday of some 
national statesman or military hero. The 
birthday of Lafayette— the 6th of Septem- 
ber — was a favorite date. As Lafayette 
fought by the side of Washington and made 
two visits to the United States after the war 
was over, the nation went wild in 1824 to 
do him homage and congress voted him a 
township of land and gave him a cash pres- 
ent of two hundred thousand dollars, escort- 
ed him back to France in a ship built espe- 
cially for the purpose, called the "Brandy- 
wine" in commemoration of the battle of 
that name. Thomas Jefferson's birthday — 
April 2d, was another chosen day. and as 
his death occurred 011 July 4, 1826, the 
fiftieth anniversary of the nation's independ- 
ence, he came into national prominence in 



another way. Jefferson was United States 
minister to France in the stormy days of 
the French revolution and was a warm per- 
sonal fi iend of Napoleon. William Henry 
Harrison, a successful Indian fighter and 
hero of "Tippecanoe," had his admirers who 
fanned his fame in memory. The great 
modern military hero, Andrew Jackson, was 
born on the 15th day of March and was 
held in high esteem by the friends of the 
American cause, as he to some extent vin- 
dicated the sting of French defeat at Water- 
loo by meeting face to face the battle-scarred 
veterans of Wellington, who overthrew Na- 
poleon's military power, and defeated them 
with heavy loss at New Orleans. Great oc- 
casions give men of capacity and power an 
opportunity to use their abilities. Those 
who are successful are carried on the high- 
est wave of public applause. The first sixty 
years of American independence the national 
enemies of the United States were European 
governments or their dependencies. Later 
her own internal disputes and finally the late 
Civil war has somewhat changed the nature 
of her patriotic demonstrations. 

So far as relates to such meetings and 
celebrations in Adams county it seems that 
they are but in the memory of the oldest 
residents, with but little written record left 
to future generations. Perhaps the first 
Fourth of July celebration near Decatur, or 
Adams county, was held at Willshire, Ohio, 
in 1825. It must be remembered that Will- 
shire is only about a half-mile east of the 
Adams county line and was the only milling 
point north of Dayton, Ohio, and near 
Adams county for a number of years. It 
is presumed that this celebration was a sam- 
ple of others of the time, and shows the 
spirit and customs of the people of that day 

in this region of country. The United States 
census of 1 830 shows that Van Wert county, 
as it was then, had but forty-nine white in- 
habitants. Mr. Riley, in his reminiscences, 
states that there were seventy-five people sat 
down to the Fourth of July feast served at 
that time. Doubtless not ail of these were 
from Ohio. The following is his record of 
that celebration: 

"An arbor was erected under some oak 
trees on the river bank, just north of the 
mill, and a very long table of boards was 
formed. The meats were bear, venison, 
roast pig, turkey with chicken pie baked 
in tin milk basins in old New England style. 
* * * The speakers' stand faced the east 
and was between two large trees. A salute 
was fired by charging the hole in a black- 
smith's anvil, which made a loud report. 
The oration being ended, the people, to the 
number of about seventy-five, took their 
places at the table, which had been loaded 
with all the luxuries the country afforded. 
Mr. Golden Green, of Shane's Crossing, 
asked the blessing, and those who were 
skilled commenced to do the carving. * * * 
After-dinner toasts were drank, using what 
we called metheglin, made from honey, very 
delicious but not intoxicating. I only re- 
member my father's toast, which was : 'The 
state of Ohio, the first bom of the ordinance 
of 1787. May she lead the van in the cause 
of freedom and equity, etc' My uncle Ros- 
well sang some comic songs, also 'Perry's 
Victory' and 'Hull's Surrender.' A plank 
floor had been laid upon scantling on the 
ground, and a dance by torchlight wound 
up the first celebration of the Fourth of July 
in Van Weit county." 

We are informed that in 1846 there was 
a Fourth of Tulv celebration held in Decatur 



as a tenth anniversary of the beginning of 
the town. This was doubtless the first meet- 
ing of the kind ever held in the county. The 
exercises of the day were begun by firing 
the anvil at sunrise and continuing at inter- 
vals throughout the forenoon. This aroused 
the town and brought people from the sur- 
rounding country for miles around. Martial 
music from fifes and drums enlivened the 
occasion. Samuel Linton and John Walker, 
with drum and fife from the Wabash ; Mr. 
Fleming and Mr. King, from Decatur, and 
a band of two drums and a fife from out of 
the county, perhaps from Fort Wayne, dis- 
coursed the stirring national airs of the day. 
J. D. Nutman and some of Ins clerks pro- 
vided the powder to keep the anvil chorus 
in tune, and after the dinner hour a proces- 
sion was formed on Second street, the mili- 
tia men in the lead. the. oldest men in the 
crowd came next, then the general public, 
and marched to the courthouse square, dodg- 
ing stumps in the street as they went, where 
a platform and bower bad been erected for 
the speaker's stand. Flags and decorations 
made the tenth anniversary celebration of 
Decatur town one of the events in history. 
The oldest residents, with others, were seat- 
ed on the speaker's stand, where :t was more 
shady and comfortable. The Declaration of 
Independence was read by Samuel L. Rugg 
and short speeches were made and reminis- 
cences related by some of the older men, who 
recited the many trials and troubles the na- 
tion and its individual people had passed 
through on its journey to the present time. 
The occasion was made move real by the 
presence of the militia company that 
inarched in the procession and gave some 
drill exercises in the court yard. Sonic 
members of this company h id fmit lock mus- 

kets and others were provided with small 
staff's cut from the growing grubs that lined 
the streets in several places. Though these 
were not guns, they answered for drill pur- 
poses on this occasion. Some of the mem- 
bers of this company were Samuel Patter- 
son, John Reed, Joseph Miller. George 
Steele, J. M. Nutman and Samuel S. Mickle 
and others. The officer in command was 
Mr. Mickle. This celebration was not a 
great crowd of people, but it was thoroughly 
patriotic. In the audience was a white-haired 
old man, perhaps a soldier of the war of 
i8i2, who sat close to one of the speakers, 
who is said to have been one of the local cir- 
cuit rider preachers who was invited to par- 
ticipate in the exercises of the day. At the 
close of his remarks he made an eloquent 
reference to the national stars and stripes 
as they waved near him in the breeze. Then 
turning around he placed both hands upon 
the old man's head and said in substance; 
"Here is a long-haired, gray-headed brother 
who spent his youthful years to save his na- 
tion's colors from traitors' hands. God bless 
his old gray head." The minister's name was 
Jesse Sparks. This old man was Wil- 
liam Nottingham, who then claimed to be 
one hundred and three years old. At that 
time he resided in what is now Kirkland 
township and was perhaps the oldest person 
that has ever lived in Adams county. After 
three cheers for the flag and the Union the 
celebration was over. The census of 1S50 
shows that the following persons were then 
residents of Adams county and were sixty 
years or more of age when the census was 
taken: William Nottingham, one hundred 
and seven years old; Ephriah Robinson, 
ninety-eight years old; Daniel Baumgartner, 
eighty-six; Solomon Fuller, eighty -five; 



John Yost, eighty; Charles Selby, 
.seventy-seven ; Christian Kieffer, seven- 
ty-iive; Elisha Leisure, seventy-five; John 
Smith., seventy-four; Robert Truesdale, sev- 
enty-two; Christian Young, seventy; Wil- 
liam Brown, seventy; Daniel Harmon, six- 
ty-nine; Joseph Ross, sixty-nine; Jonathan 
Ray, sixty-eight ; John Buckingham, sixty- 
eight; John Augspurger, sixty-eight; An- 
drew Lucky, sixty-eight; Jacob Schroll, six- 
ty-six; Jonathan Elzey, sixty-five; John 
Johnson, seventy-eight; Tunis Young, sev- 
enty-six; Leonard Shatzer, seventy-five; 
Roger Barton, seventy-five; John Gessinger, 
seventy- fou r ; Abraham Eaughman, seventy- 
one; John Cowan, seventy; George T. Ba- 
ker, seventy; Samuel Allen, sixty-nine; 
Joseph Stoops, sixty-eight; Jacob Abnett, 
sixty-eight ; Jacob Cook, sixty-eight ; Hol- 
man Reynolds, sixty-eight; Jacob Schulte, 
sixty-six; William Elzey, sixty-six; Nicho- 
las Ramey, sixty-three; Elisha Gulic, sixty- 
five; John Holmes, sixty-four; Alvan Ran- 
dal, sixty-three; William Shepherd, sixty- 
two; Wade Luf borough, sixty-two; Nicho- 
las Stuckey, sixty ; John Cox, sixty ; Alex- 
ander Stuart, sixty: John Fonner, sixty; 
Jacob Rush, sixty-five ; John Pine, sixty- 
four: David S. Bennett, sixty-two; Simon 
Yutter, sixty-two ; Christian Mersman, six- 
ty-one; William Hill, sixty-two; William 
Syphers, sixty; George Hoffle, sixty; John 
Hart, sixty. 

From 1S50 to 1861 sectional strifes occu- 
pied the public mind in the United States, 
and pro and anti-slavery parties occupied the 
rostrum stump and pulpit, to the general de- 
moralizing of the real true, sober, common- 
sense ideas of the people. Along about the 
latter part of 1865, upon the return of the 
soldiers from the United States service, 

great public dinners were served, and the oc- 
casions were enlivened with much oratory 
and music. One of these in Fanner's grove, 
near Monmouth, was the first held of the 
kind after the soldiers' return. One later 
in the fall was held at the grove in the old 
county fair grounds southeast of Decatur. 
In this the Eleventh Indiana Cavalry, For- 
ty-seventh Indiana and the Eighty-ninth In- 
diana Regiments were the principal partici- 
pants. These meetings were replete with 
reminiscences of local statesmen and com- 
manding officers of the late Civil war. They 
were repeated from year to year until the 
general observance of Decoration day rather 
took their place as a day of celebration. 

In 1894 the "Old Settlers" " meetings 
were revived, and on the 23d day of August 
of that year, after due publication and an- 
nouncements in the local papers, convened 
in Shaffer's grove southeast of Decatur, near 
Bobo, in Saint Mary's township, and had a 
general reunion. The woods were tasteful- 
ly decorated with flags and festoons of bunt- 
ing gave the grounds a "Fourth of July" ap- 
pearance. It is estimated that about two 
thousand five hundred people were in attend- 
ance. The speakers' stand just fluttered with 
flags' and the young singers and the old 
white-headed men and women, who were 
placed in view upon the stage, or speakers' 
platform, made the picture one not often wit-' 
nessed. The forenoon was occupied by re- 
ception committers, locating the buggies and 
wagons throughout the grove, and the social 
conversation and greetings of old friends 
and neighbors, some of whom had long been 
absent from Adams county, and the rival 
efforts of the various bands of music present 
for the occasion. The greater part of the 
afternoon was taken up by speech-making 



and reminiscences of early settlers interested 
in the cause of the pioneer. Among those 
who took part in the exercises were Samuel 
Shaffer, of Saint Mary's township; David 
Studabaker, of Washington township ; Ner- 
val Blackburn, of Decatur; Jacob S. Hart, 
of Decatur; Joshua Bright, of Kirkland 
township; John Woy and Jonathan Flem- 
ing', of Root township; Norman Acker, Wil- 
liam Comer, William Jackson, Joseph W. 
Smith and John E. Teeple, of Saint Mary's, 
and J. T. Archbold and Jerry Archbold, of 
Decatur and Root township. Alva Miller, 
of Union township, sang a pioneer song and 
Dr. J. O. Neptune sang "The Old House and 
Home.'" Rev. B. F. Kohn and his church 
choir of Willshire, and the M. E. church 
choir of Bobo, and Rev. FreeJand, of Mon- 
roe circuit, aided in the oratoriai and musi- 
cal part of the program. An enrollment of 
the old attendants was started, but several 
of the oldest had gotten tired and gone 
home before their names and ages were se- 
cured. Therefore the following list of at- 
tendants is by no means complete : Christina 
Kern, eighty-eight years old; Frederick 
Knavel, se\ erny-cight years old ; Harmon 
Boose, seventy-seven; Mrs. Charles Roe- 
buck, seventy-five; Daniel Welty, seventy- 
two; David SchaiTer, seventy-two; Jane 
Struby, seventy-one; James Crosier, seven- 
ty; David Studabaker, sixty-seven; Conrad 
Schnepp, sixty-two ; George Gladden, sixty- 
eight; M. Brodbeck, sixty-nine; Mary 
Scheep, sixty-two; George Giadden, sixty- 
eight; Ezra Lister, sixty- nine: William Cro- 
mer, sixty-two; Joshua Bright, fifty-eight; 
Joel Falk, fifty-five; Adam Ault, seventy- 
six; James Faust, seventy- four ; Charles Mil- 
ler, seventy-two; John Meibers, seventy- 
two; Nancy Robinson, seventy; John Cra- 

mer, seventy; Jacob Buhler. sixty-nine; 
Alva .Miller, sixty-eight; David Gleckler, 
sixty-one; Christ Schomlow, .sixty-three; 
Henry Chronister, sixty-five; S. H. Schaf- 
fer, sixty-eight; Joseph Johnson, sixty; 
Leonard Johnson, sixty; Andrew Teeple, 
fifty-eight ; E. Roebuck, fifty-five. 

At this meeting David Studabaker was 
chosen president, Samuel A. Schafer vice 
president, Norval Blackburn secretary and 
treasurer. The next meeting convened in 
September, 1895, at Steele's park, and a 
general basket dinner was served. The De- 
catur city band furnished the music, and 
Hon. John T. France was the orator of the 
day. The last old settlers' meeting of any 
consequence occurred on the first day of Sep- 
tember, iSyS, in Christainer's grove, about 
a mile west of Decatur. The principal ad- 
dress of the day was dilevered by Rev. G. 
W. Pierce, then pastor of the Baptist church 
at Decatur. At this meeting were some very 
old people and regrets were received and 
read from some others who were residents 
of the county out who were unable to be in- 
attendance. The oldest person present was 
"Uncle" Johnnie Reed, of Root township, 
who then lacked but eight months of being 
a hundred years old, his ninety -ninth birth- 
day having been April, 1S99. Daniel Wel- 
dy, Ezra Lister and David Studabaker were 
the three next oldest persons present, ' each 
nearing three-quarters of a century in years, 
Ezra Lister having lived in Adams county 
seventy-one years. "Uncle" Johnnie Ale- 
Griff, one of the famous McGriff twins, at 
that time resided with his son, Mike Mc- 
Griff, at Geneva, Indiana, and sent his re- 
grets at not being able to be present at the 
old settlers' meeting. He and his twin 
brother, Richard McGriff, have an interest- 

,__ . . - rr _,-_. . . v .. - .- ,- ■ -..:-,-,-. :,— 7 


' *v 


.- . - . - -. ■ _. .: v '.- .. . .-■,!. -■ 





ir>.g history, some of which will be herein 
given as related to us. On the 31st day of 
August, 1804, John and Richard McGriff 
were born in what is now Darke county, 
Ohio, near where the city of Greenville is 
now situated. They were reared to man- 
hood in Ohio and later carne to reside in 
Indiana. Until the 10th day of March, 
1899. these two brothers bore the distinction 
of being die oldest twins in the United 
States. John McGriff outlived his brother, 
the date of his death being August 29, 1900, 
lacking just two days of being ninety-six 
years of age at the time of his death. He 
was nearly always well and was bedfast but 
three days before his death. Richard Mc- 
Griff died on the 10th day of March, 1S99, 
after more than a year of indisposition, at 
times being bedfast. These brothers were 
strongly attached to each other by the ties 
of brotherly affection, as well as by kindred 
blood. For more than fifty years previous 
to their deaths it was their custom to spend 
their birthday in a reunion and have a fine 
birthday dinner. In their later years Rich- 
ard McGriff lived at Dcerfield, Indiana, with 
his unmarried daughter, Elizabeth, who kept 
house for him for many years. 

John McGriff lived at Geneva with his 
son, Mike McGriff, ex-county sheriff of 
Adams county, Indiana. In August, 1S98, 
these remarkable twin brothers held their 
last birthday reunion at Mike McGriff's, in 
Geneva, this being their ninety-fourth birth- 
day anniversary. In their younger years, it 
is said, that their most intimate friends only 
could tell them apart, as voice, actions and 
movements were almost identically the same. 
As time wore on Richard showed the hand 
of "Father True" first, and the later days 
of his iife he was in feeble health. John was 

robust to the last, never using a cane in his 
walking or spectacles to aid his sight. In 
politics both were democrats and much de- 
voted to the cause of democracy. Each 
was married. The wife of John was Mary 
Brannon, who died nearly sixty years before 
her husband. Their children were Simon and 
Mike McGriff, who are both living. The 
wife of Richard McGriff was Mary Saint 
Clair, who died about forty-five years before 
her husband. Their children were seven in 
number — John, Valentine, Lawrence, Emer- 
son, Teresa (now Mrs. J. B. Sype), Martha 
(now Mrs. Moyer) and Elizabeth, unmar- 
ried. Richard McGriff died at the home of 
his daughter in Deerfield and John McGriff 
at the home of his son in Gene- 
va and these twins are buried side 
by side in the Deerfield cemetery, in 
Randolph county, Indiana. It is said that 
these twins never used spectacles, a cane or 
tobacco. They were stock dealers and farm- 
ers the greater part of their lives until'age 
interfered with their occupations, which was 
when they were nearing their eightieth year. 
For the last fifteen or twenty years of their 
lives they were ranked as the oldest twins in 
the United States. They have a brother, 
Parke McGriff, who now resides at Green- 
ville, Ohio, who is in the ninetieth year of 
his life and is hale, hearty and active for a 
man of his age. 

Another of the very earliest settlers of the 
southern part of the county that merits men- 
tion in this connection is John Walker. He 
came to Adams county in 1840 and settled 
about a mile south of where Geneva is now 
located, on what then was known as the 
Fort Recovery and Flint Springs trace. This 
was near the south boundary of the conniy, 
near the Limbcr'ost creek. He was born in 



Guernsey county, Virginia, in 1806, came to 
Darke county, Ohio, in 1820 and subse- 
quently moved to Indiana. His nearest 
neighbors, and only ones, for five or six 
years were Peter Studabaker, John Goff, 
Samuel Linton, James William^, George Ba- 
ker and Charles Nelson. Mr. Walker was 
a typical hunter of his time. It is said that 
he killed a large number cf deer, bear and 
some other larsre rame. As the southern 
part of the county settled up faster than that 
in Monroe township, he moved down north- 
east of where Berne is now situated, built 
another cabin and pursued his vocation — 
that of a hunter and trapper. His wife 
died in 1S56 and he then went to live in Wa- 
bash township with his sister, Mrs. John 
Bricker. Long after the larger game had 
disappeared he hunted and trapped the 
smaller fur-bearing animals along the river 
and tributary streams. The last act of his 
life was to sit and watch for a squirrel that 
his dog had treed. On his not returning 
home as was his custom at evening a search 
revealed the fact of his sudden death on the 
evening of May 28, 1884, with gun in hand, 
leaning back against a tree as though he 
were asleep. He was dead. On the 30th 
day of May, when the nation strews flowers 
on the graves of her faithful dead, he was 
buried in the Burris gra\eyard on the banks 
of the Limberlost, a short distance from 
where he built his first cabin home along in 
the forties. 

Another one of the very old people who 
was for a long time a resident of Adams 
county was Sarah Hoskin>so;i. She was 
nearly ninety-four years old '-'hen she died. 
Sarah Beard, the wife of Andrew Hcskiu- 
Bon, was born Tune T , I79«'>, near Martins- 
berg, Virginia, and died at Ceylon, Indiana, 

on the 21st day cf March, 1SS4, lacking but 
a couple of months of ninety-four years old. 
She in some respects was more vigorous 
than many younger persons. Her sight and 
hearing were perfect to the day of her death. 
She seldom used a cane in walking, and al- 
ways moved about as she wished without as- 
sistance from any one. Her hair at the time 
of her death was but a silvery gray, and she 
had a good and well defined memory of past 
events which written history of the times 
prove to be quite accurate and correct. Her 
father's name was Andrew Beard and he 
was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Her 
mother's people's name was Tate and they 
lived in northern Virginia. In 180S her par- 
ents removed from Virginia to Licking 
county, Ohio, near Newark. In October, 
1813, she was married to Andrew Hoskin- 
sou, with whom she lived for more than 
sixty years. She was the mother of twelve 
children, but one of whom, Mrs. Daniel 
Hupp, of Linnville, Ohio, is now living. She * 
outlived most of her children and to see 
twenty-two grandchildren and fifteen great- 
grandchildren. In 1SG3 she and her hus- 
band come with their son, Andrew J. Hos- 
kinson and his family, to Indiana and set- 
tied south of Salem, in Blue Creek township, 
and in 1S71 — her husband having died — re- 
moved with her son to Ceylon, where she re- 
sided the remainder of her life. She ever 
had a pleasant place in her memory for the 
beautiful hillside groves and springs of run- 
ning, clear, cool, fresh water in her child- 
hood Virginia heme. In the days of her 
girlhood Virginia was a slave state and she 
well remembered many incidents that were 
connected with the management of the ne- 
groes. One she rek.ted was of a slave boy 
perhaps sixteen or eighteen years eld that 



persisted in clubbing the horses and cattle 
without any particular cause. He had been 
frequently admonished and whipped for this 
offense, but seemingly to no purpose. His 
owner, who was one of her father's neigh- 
bors, stripped him naked and tied him with 
a chain to a hitching post in front of his 
residence one Sunday morning that the peo- 
ple who went to church might see him and 
know that "he was a mean nigger." She 
said that he looked so ashamed and guilty 
that she could never forget him. There are 
yet two other old people who are now living 
that we wish to mention in this connection. 
The one is Mrs. Caroline T. Ferry, of De- 
catur, and the other is Robert Simison, of 
Beuna Vista, or Linn Grove, as it is some- 
times called. 

Mrs. Caroline T. Ferry, the wife of Lu- 
cian P. Ferry, deceased, was born in Detroit, 
Michigan, on the ioth day of September, 
1814, and at this time is nearly ninety-three 
years old. When a child but three months 
old she, with her parents, came to Fort 
Wayne. Her father, Louis T. Bourie, a 
Frenchman, au Indian trader and interpreter 
at the military post, continued to live in Al- 
len county until the time of his death, and 
Ids daughter, the subject of this sketch, has 
lived in Allen and Adams counties nearly the 
period of her entire life, ninety-three years. 
Some fifteen years ago she came to Decatur 
to reside with her daughter, Mrs. Dr. W. P. 
McMillen, with whom she now resides. In 
August, 1 83 1, she was married to Lucian P. 
Ferry. To them were born five children, 
three of whom, Mrs. R. D. Boyles, Mrs. Dr. 
McMillen and Colonel C. P. Ferry, are non- 
living. Pier two other daughters, Mrs. 
Fweing. died in 1845, and Mrs. Hedges, in 
1S47. Her husband died in 1844. 

Mrs. Ferry is remarkably well preserved, 
both in mind and body. Her intellect is 
bright "and memory seemingly as 
clear as that of many persons of 
thirty years her junior. Her hair 
is but a silvery gray. In 1900 she at- 
tended the "Old Settlers' Association" of 
Allen county and was made an honorary life 
vice president of the association and present- 
ed a gold medal on account of her being the 
oldest living settler of the county. On the 
ioth day of September, 1904, on her nine- 
tieth birthday, a surprise was given her at 
the residence of her daughter, Mrs. McMil- 
len, on which occasion she sang a song and 
related some very interesting reminiscences 
of her early life's trials and triumphs. She 
tells us that when she was a mere child she 
went to school to a Baptist minister, who 
tausrht one of the first schools at Fort Wayne 
in the old fort building about 1821-2; that 
she well remembers the carrying of supplies 
down the Saint Mary's and Maumee rivers 
in broad, long canoes called pyrogues; that 
along about from 1820 to 1830 provisions 
were hauled in covered wagons from Piqua, 
Ohio, to Fort Wayne; that her husband 
bought one of the first cool; stoves that was 
brought to Fort Wayne. It was a very- heavy- 
affair, with a furnace underneath and places 
for kettles and pots at the top; its iron walls 
may have been an inch thick. Those seeing 
it first called it a "saddle bags." She well 
remembers seeing General Lewis Cass in 
1843, when the first canal boat was started 
on the federal canal; that they had a big 
dinner and feast and all had wooden plates 
but one old piece of chinaware that was put 
to the place of General Cass ; that he pushed 
it aside and said that wooden plates were 
made to eat on. (As though English china 



was to be seen and not used.) The husband 
of Mrs. Ferry was a lawyer of some note 
and was a state's representative, at which 
time the subject of tiiis sketch took a "peep" 
into the early state capitol of Indiana and at 
the fashionable wave of society of that day. 
She says that in those days men wore no 
beard, but made up in satin vests and ruf- 
fled shirt fronts; that the ladies did not all 
wear homespun, as we sometimes hear they 
did, but fine silks rustled then as now, but 
the styles then were very pretty. She tells 
us that her parents and those of her husband 
were all French people; that her father-in- 
law was an aid-de-camp of Napoleon Bona- 
parte and came to the United States after 
the downfall of the emperor. 

Robert Simison is one of the oldest resi- 
dents of Adams county. His father, John 
Simison, was a soldier in the war of 1812 
and in 181 8 settled at Fort Recovery, Ohio, 
when Robert was but seven years old. In 
1822 his parents died and from 
that time till manhood he lived 
with near relatives — much of the 
time with his sister and her husband, Pe- 
ter Studabaker. About 1820 Mr. Studaba- 
ker settled in the northeast corner of Jay 
county, just across the Wabash river from 
the present village of Jay City, but soon re- 
turned to Fort Recovery and remained there 
until the summer of 1833, at which time he 
and his two brothers-in-law, Robert and Er- 
win Simison, and John and William Mc- 
Dowel, came to what is now Wabash town- 
ship and erected a cabin house on the west 
bank of the Wabash river near the center of 
section 17, near what is now known as the 
"Price bridge." The McDowel brothers and 
Mr. Studabaker went bark to Fort Recov- 
ery, but returned ear!}- in 183.4 and became 

permanent residents. The McDowels set- 
tled about five miles south of Mr. Simison 
in Jay county. Robert Simison, the subject 
of this sketch, remained and completed the 
cabin that it be ready to live in on the arrival 
of Mr. Studabaker and his family, thus mak- 
ing him a few months earlier as a permanent 
resident than any other who settled in the 
south part of the county. Mr. Simison in- 
forms us that there were but few 
white residents in the county at 
that time; that a Mr. Thompson 
on the prairie, a Mr. Ay res at the 
east of the county and Vaschal Ball on the 
Saint Mary's river, near what later was the 
Winchester road, about completed the list; 
that Ball's land was near the military camp 
grounds on the Indian trail along the south 
side of the Saint Mary's river; that on the 
bank of the Wabash river, near where the 
Studabaker cabin was built, were two Indian 
wigwams ; they were made of poles sided in 
and covered with white elm bark, that had 
been cut in lengths of about five or six feet * 
long and peeled from the trees in summer- 
time, put up while yet fresh from the tree; 
that they were some protection from the 
elements of the weather, as the bark was well 
tied together, and the joints, covered as in 
the shingling of a house; that in these 
wigwams he and the others of his party 
camped while they were cutting the logs and 
raising the Studabaker cabin ; that until he 
had the cabin roofed and chinked he lodged 
and lived in one of these wigwams ; that 
they were built, as he was informed, by a 
hunting party of Miami Indians, whose res- 
ervation was near Roanoke or Pent, Indi- 
ana; that frequently he could hear the 
howls of wolves and the rustling in the 
leaves around the wigwam at night; that 



the only town in the county until 1S36 was 
Manheim, which was laid out Dy J. R. Britt- 
son; that William Lewis, a mulatto man, 
"Nigger Lewis," as he was called, 
laid out Monmouth in 1836; that 
Phillips and Beauchamp laid out 
Jim Town in 1838 and sold the lots 
at public auction ; that some of them sold 
for as much as twenty dollars apiece. In 
answer to the question, "Can you speak the 
Indian language"? he informed me that he 
could understand much of it and could talk 
some; that "see-fee" meant deer; that 
"pesh-wa" was wildcat; that "mac-quash" 
was bear; that "nippe" was water, and "talle- 
maw" was tobacco; that in 1829 he saw 
two of the sons of one of the noted outlaws, 
Girty, at Fort Recovery; tliata they were 
half-breeds- — part Indian and part white man 
— had black eyes, but bushy, shaggy hair; 
that they dressed in full Indian attire, with 
hunting shirt, etc., as the others of their 
tribe; that he was told that they went west 
in 1832 with their associates and located in 
Kansas. Robert Simison was born in War- 
ren county, Ohio, on the 7th day of Novem- 
ber, 181 1. His father was a Scotchman, 
who formerly resided in Cumberland county, 
Pennsylvania. The subject of this sketch, 
when he was about twenty-four years old, 
entered a fine tract of land on the Wabash 
"car the present village of Buena Vista, 
about a hundred acres of which he still owns. 
"3 his land cost him one dollar and twenty- 
five cents an acre and he at this time has 
three separate land warrants issued direct to 
lM»n by the government. These are signed 

y Martin VanBuren, then President of the 
'• nited States. In 1857 he laid out the town 

• I'Uena Vista, About that time a grist mill 
"••■ is bail* there and a store started bv a man 

whose name was Souers. The town had quite 
a growth for a new country and many build- 
ings were soon put up. On the 17th day of 
November, 1836, Mr. Simison was married 
to Miss Rebecca Davis, who resided near 
what is now Murray, Indiana. His marriage 
license was gotten at Fort Wayne, as at that 
time the separate county governments of 
Adams and Wells counties had not been fully 
established. Soon after marriage he and his 
young wife moved into their new cabin home 
and there resided continuously until in 1874, 
at which time they deserted it for a new and 
commodious frame residence. Mr. Simison 
says that "ours was a round log cabin, about 
twenty feet square, and was built entirely 
without nails. Wooden hingei, puncheon 
floor, stick chimney, with stone jambs and 
hearth; clapboard roof, held in place by 
heavy weight poles. Though primitive in 
construction, this cabin was as good and 
even larger than those of some of my neigh- 

To them were born eight children — three 
sons, George, John and Samuel — ail of 
whom are living, and five daughters — Mar- 
garet and Catherine, who are living, and 
Mary, Eliza and Sarah, now deceased. 

For the first ten years of his stay in 
Adams county some of his nearest neighbors 
were Peter Studabaker, four miles- up the 
river; George French, three miles down the 
river; Joseph Walker, on the Limberlost, and 
Samuel Linton, who lived near him, about 
six miles distant. Charies Nelson and George 
Baker, six or seven miles up the river, and 
James McDowel, who lived six miles south 
in Jay county. It is doubtless a fact that 
Mr. Simison had the first apple orchard in 
Adams county. However, "Johnnie Apple- 
seed," a Swedenborger itinerant, had planted 



a few trees in the neighborhood of New 
Corydon at an early date. One tree in that 
orchard is now said to measure ninety-two 
inches in circumference at the ground and is 
still bearing fruit. Mr. Simison relates the 
planting of an orchard in this manner: "I 
was in Piqua, Ohio, in 1S35 and a man was 
selling appies on the street. I bought my 
saddlebags full and brought some of them 
with me to Indiana. As I ate them I saved 
the seeds and put them into my vest pocket. 
I saved them all and planted them. Soon I 
had some young trees, which 1 set out and 
started an orchard. The trees did well and 
we soon had apples. When I came here the 
mails were carried through from Richmond 
and Winchester to Fort Wayne on horse- 
back. Then there was but two houses on 
the route between Winchester and Fort 
Wayne, so far as I heard of. One was Peter 
Studabaker's at the Wabash and the other 
Vaschel Ball's at the Saint Mary's river. 
Jesse Conner was the first mail carrier that 
I recollect. He carried the mail from 1840 
to some time in 1850. At that time the lands 
throughout this part of the state were taken 
up and bought from the government. It 
would not take paper money as payment for 
the reason that some of the bank notes were 
worthless. Mr. Connner usually forded the 
river near Studabaker's, but in high water 
had to come down the river to Jim Town. 
The mail carrier carried money from Win- 
chester to Fort Wayne to make payment on 

lands for those who wished to enter it. He 
rode one horse and led one, and I well re- 
member one time when I helped him put the 
saddlebags on the horse and I took hold of 
one end and he the other, and we had a pret- 
ty fair lift to get it on the horse. That time 
he had between two thcusand and three thou- 
sand dollars in the saddlebags — all in gold 
and silver money." 

Mrs. Robert Simison was born on the 
24th day of June, 1818, in Greene county, 
Tennessee, and died at her home in Buena 
Vista on the 1 ith day of March, 1903. Mr. 
Simison is still living and now is the oldest 
continuous resident of the county — having 
lived here for nearly seventy-five years. In 
appearance he at this time would not seem 
to be more than seventy years old. He stands 
erect, about five feet eight inches, and weighs 
about one hundred and eighty pounds. His 
sight and hearing are good. His memory l» 
stored with facts that the written history 
and records of the times fully corroborate. 
And we are told that he sleeps well and has 
the appetite of a schoolboy. He wears no 
beard, is neatly dressed and carries a large 
walnut cane. He has always been temperate 
in all things, never having used tobacco or 
liquors in any form. That he will live to 
see the century mark, at least, is within the 
greatest probability, as not one man in many 
hundreds of his age can be found with the 
seeming vitality that is possessed by this 
grand old pioneer. 


The forest home, the most natural to the double two-story hewed log mansion. Not 
frontiennan, has long since passed away, many of the original pioneers lived to enjoy 
Then came the "palace of the pioneer," the the comforts of the fine modern two-story 

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frame residence such as is commonly seen 
BO w throughout the country. However, a 
few of the pioneer palaces yet remain as 
hndmarks of an earlier age. With the new 
settlers came those luxuries, unknown to 
their progenitors, as to us, their descendants, 
grandchildren. The cowbell or dinner horn, 
the hominy block, the flax hackle or even a 
grubbing hoe will ere the next generation 
have gone from use and be as antiquated 
relics, held in museums to prove the develop- 
ment of the past in this country. To the old 
pioneer, and to some of his descendants, per- 
haps, there is no relic that more forcibly im- 
presses him than the old dinner horn. Its 
tones, in early life, caused deep and profound 
impressions on his sensitive ears. Even yet 
it brings to memory many enlivening oc- 
currences, such as rich and well baked corn- 
pones served with brown baked venison, or 
of late suppers of mush and milk, or per- 
chance of "Old Gray," who would stop and 
whinny while plowing in the field when the 
horn would blow. As we pass from city to 
city on the electric cars, or drive out through 
the country we yet here and there see land- 
marks of time that once were the fine old 
farm houses, the second or third in order 
of the residents of that farm. When taking 
your carriage ride some fair, fine day, away 
over in yonder field you may notice a few 
large old fruit trees that are the remains 
of the once fine orchard. That tumbled- 
down old house has a history. See, its chim- 
ney tops have crumbled off. The window 
sashes are broken. The doorless doorway is 
dosed no more. That is a sheepfokl now. 
It was once the second residence home of 
the yeonnn pioneer. There his children left 
him, one by one; there whrt to him was on 
earth most dear has surrendered to fate. 

The water drawn by that wind-pump over 
there to hirn was much less sweet than when 
brought up by the moss covered bucket, at- 
tached to the huge grape vine sweep. Then 
he was surrounded by a group of prattling 
children, who have long since grown to man- 
hood and womanhood and found homes in 
other climes. Say ' here comes a son of that 
veteran whose father built yonder house. 
Can he tell its history ? Sir, to us the patriot 
and pioneer should have a place in history's 
niche. Can you relate the story of that once 
stately mansion? "By your permission, sir, 
I give it as it was given me by my father's 
father more than thirty years ago. He was 
one of the very first settlers in this part of 
this country. He told me that the past to 
him was an open book, from whose pages 
he could read the tour of life from child- 
hood to an age of four score years." Said he: 
"In childhood days the trees were all covered 
with blossoms and every day to me was sun- 
shine. In my distant mountain cottage home 
in Massachusetts, with my parents, brothers, 
sisters and friends the days were ever in 
round of rollicking pastime and joy. There 
I grew to manhood ; there my earliest pangs 
of defeat and my first successes were known 
to me. The turning point in life's great 
drama came. Then the 'apple of my eye' be- 
came the companion of my life to. share a 
new home, far away beyond the mountains. 
Ah, that eventful day ; how its picture as of 
yesterday appears upon the scroll of time. 
When I parted with my dear old childhood 
home and my good, gray-haired parents 
pronounced their benediction upon my head 
and to my bride and I gas T e their parting' 
blessing. We proceeded on our way, fear- 
ing the worst, though hopeful of the most 
ample bounties bestowed upon the honest, 



energetic and deserving. To me my future 
was the morning' of a new bright day, whose 
sun wiD ever shine. Ivly bride, in health and 
beauty, al! hope that our journey to the far 
west will be safe and that our cabin in the 
clearing will be congenial to our tastes and 
likings. The first season in our forest home; 
those dreadful chills and that burning fever 
took many roses from my fair one's cheeks, 
yet she was true and kind and faithful still. 
That long and lonesome winter, those long- 
ing anticipations of our coming visit to the 
old Bay state, to our parental fireside of a 
3'ear ago. New charms will ingratiate them- 
selves; they in time will be demanding ad- 
mittance and attention. An "olive branch' 
at our home. A new care — the monarch of 
a new kingdom — a first born son. Year to 
year adds new tints to the picture, of our 
western country home. Year by year our 
cares grew greater, as a new sample pack- 
age was added to our family name. Our 
farm from year to year was opened to the 
plow. New lands were bought with the pro- 
ceeds of our industry. We were all at home, 
all well, and all happy. How truthfully 
said that in the rounds of time life's history 
is repeated. Our eldest son became a man. 
a wedding feast marked his parting day. 
The high noon of our enjoyment had come. 
The objects of our patient care and toil left 
us one by one. Our once secluded country 
home was now surrounded by dwellings sim- 
ilar to our first modest home. Our cabin 
now doesn't suit the girls ; it has a loft and 
but one apartment ; times demand an impos- 
ing six-room dwelling at least. The wife 
of my youth pleads that the 'young people 
should have a chance.' It was once quite 
good enough for all, but served its time. 
That once fine 'pioneer palace' of which 

yonder is but the walls was built to please 
the children who are now all married and 
gone. The day it was completed we held 
a reunion of all our neighbors and relations. 
Had the finest all-night dance ever known in 
this settlement. New honors smiled upon 
the family and papa foots the bills; fixtures 
and furniture unheard of before, even one 
room had carpets and a melodian that cost 
seventy-five dollars. The time for joy and 
gayety is here — the friends, the music, the 
banquet, the old Virginia reel and all hands- 
round — and grandpa must dance just once 
more for luck and fun. I was grandpa and 
with the double-shuffle must adapt myself to 
the new surroundings and duties of the hour. 
Party after party was planned to follow 
each other, one by one the harvests came, 
wedding after wedding followed each other 
in distressingly close succession. Soon sad- 
ly we waited for the Sundays to come to 
bring the children home. Sorrowfully its 
evening sun saw us looking down the lane 
toward the road as the last rattling wheels 
bore the wagons out of sight. The thread 
of life has worn frail by time's relentless 
tread. Our once steady steps are tottering 
as we aimlessly stroll about the farm our 
youthful strength had cleared. Our house 
was the finest in the settlement, yet we 
vvere not the most happy. Our children are 
each and all in new homes of their own; 
our grandchildren remind us of our youth- 
ful days with our own sons and daughters 
at our side, in our cabin home of years ago. 
The winters now seem longer and colder 
than ever before. That sudden change last 
March left me alone; the wife of my youth 
has left but me to relate this story." 
Grandpa has been dead these score of years. 
That fine stock farm has ion? since been di- 



vided and now makes comfortable homes for 
Jiis sons and daughters and their children. 

The emotionless pen of history spare the 
record. Soon the story of the old settler 
will be told. Soon the last of the early resi- 
dents will have passed to the great beyond 
and received his reward. "Father time" 
sternly and relentlessly mows on and on and 
each winter's sun casts his feeble rays upon 
v. rtewly made mound on the hillside under 
which rests the remnant of what was a na- 
tion's pride, a stalwart hero, or heroine, who 
helped to stamp freedom on a nation's cus- 
toms and integrity upon her people — the old 
resident pioneer to the present civilization. 
The two-story hewed log house or "pioneer 
palace" was not so very common in Adams 
county, for as the settlements demanded 
sawmills, lumber was furnished for build- 
ings. Quite a large number of the most pub- 
lic-spirited and progressive of our county's 
citizens never even enjoyed the luxuries of 
the "palace," for theirs was but the single 
story one-rocm cabin. The following are 
some brief notices of a few of the early ag- 
gressive pioneer residents : 

David McDonald, one of the early state 
representatives and sheriffs of Adams coun- 
ty, was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, 
in September, 1805, and died near Quincy, 
Iowa, on the 8th day of May, 1S82. In 1828 
lie was married to Miss Mary Ball, of near 
Sharon, Ohio. Her parents were Quakers. 
He was a millwright by trade and built sev- 
eral large grist mills near Hamilton and 
Cincinnati. In 1845 he and his brothers, 
Andrew and Samuel, came to reside in 
Adams county, and brought land near the 
"»\ abash river, close to the home of Peter 
• I'.i'bbaker, one of the first residents in the 
- »ultrem part of the county. When he came 

to this part of the state his family consisted 
of himself, wife and two sons, Napoleon- B. 
and Levi T. McDonald, and two daughters, 
Rebecca H., who subsequently married Dr. 
B. B. Snow, and Charlotte E., who became 
the wife of Ignatius Hook. The two sons 
and Mrs. Hook are still living. Mrs. Dr. 
Snow died at the Snow homestead in Ceylon 
on the 24th day of March, 1873. David 
McDonald was an energetic, ardent Dem- 
ocrat of the Andrew Jackson type. His 
friends were many and devoted to him, while 
his opponents had but to wake him up to re- 
ceive all that was coming to them, at least 
either intellectually or physically. His ener- 
gies and abilities soon attracted general at- 
tention and won for him recognition as an 
organizer and a political leader. In 1847 
he was elected as a member of the Indiana 
state legislature for the counties of Adams 
and Wells, and served with credit arid dis- 
tinction in the sessions of 1847 and 1848. 
In 1850 he was elected sheriff of Adams 
county and was re-elected in 1852 and in 
1856, serving three terms, in which time he 
discharged every duty with promptness and 
fidelity. At that day some parts of the coun- l 
try were infested with dangerous counter- 
feiters and horselhieves. Daniel Miller, r. 
farmer, whose home was south of Bluffton 
on the Wabash, was shot and killed while at- 
tempting to arrest a desperado in 1862 who 
had stolen a horse and some other property. 
An incident is related of Mr. McDonald's 
management of a horsethief he was taking 
to the state's prison at Jeffersonville in 1856. 
The thief in question wore an overcoat and 
was handcuffed. He claimed to be too warm 
and wanted the coat taken off. Mr. McDon- 
ald suspected his design, as to remove the 
coat without destrovins- it the handcuffs 



would have to be taken off. Then an op- 
portunity would be afforded for the thief's 
escape. After some deliberation the sheriff 
said, "Well, if you insist on it I will take 
the coat off for you." "Well," said the 
thief. "I do insist; I don't want to be roast- 
ed this way." He had hardly finished the 
sentence when McDonald took out a short, 
sharp dirk knife and cut the coat sleeves 
from the wrists of each to the shoulder and 
dropped the coat back on the seat of the hack 
or stage in which they were riding. From 
that time on the prisoner was silent and per- 
haps more comfortable than he had been. 
In 1858 Mr. McDonald's wife died and he 
removed with his sons to Iowa. Soon the 
Civil war began and he wanted to be a sol- 
dier but was too old to meet the require- 
ments. His hair then was showing some 
gray; he had it dyed black and shaved off 
all of his beard and enlisted in an Iowa vol- 
unteer cavalry company and served until the 
close of the war. He was a color sergeant 
within this time and had three horses shot 
and killed while he was riding them. He 
was a Presbyterian in religion and an ardent 
friend, sociable and entertaining in society 
and always had a host of acquaintances about 
him. Judge David Studahaker's father lived 
just across the Wabash river from the home 
of Mr. McDonald and the judge and he were 
lifelong mutual friends. In the early years 
of his life much encouragement and assist- 
ance politically and otherwise were given 
him by Mr. McDonald. 

Dr. Barton B. Snow came to Indiana in 
1837 and settled south of Camden, in Jay 
county, with his father, James Snow, whose 
former homo was Sandusky, Ohio. The 
father of James Snow resided in eastern 

Massachusetts and was of direct English 
descent. His mother, Eleanor Tate, was of 
Irish parentage, who came to Pennsylvania 
and settled in Westmoreland county, in 
which the subject of this sketch was born on 
the 15th day of April, 1820. Along in the 
forties the common school advantages on the 
Indiana frontier were quite limited, and 
Barton B. Snow and his brother, James B. 
Snow, worked together at clearing land and 
making rails to obtain funds with which to 
educate themselves. They in the meantime 
took up the study of medicine. Barton B. 
studied with Dr. Milligan about three years 
at Portland, Indiana; attended the Louis- 
ville Medical College and graduated in 1854. 
On the 21st daj r of October, 1850, he was 
married to Miss Rebecca H. McDonald, who 
was born on the 10th day of June, 1829. at 
Somerville, Ohio, of Scotch-English ances- 
try, of Quaker parentage. In 1S45 she with 
her parents settled in section 17, in Wabash 
township, and there resided until David Mc- 
Donald, her father, was elected sheriff of 
Adams county in 1850, then removed to De- 
catur. To this union were born nine chil- 
dren, three of whom — Maty-, Florence and 
Homer B. — died in infancy; Luella, wljo 
died at the age of seventeen, and Solon 
McD., at adult manhood, on the 27th day of 
October, 1S90; and Ella, who was intermar- 
ried with Rev. Noah Brandyberry,. died at 
Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1S92. Those now 
living are: Ada V. and Loretta G. Snow, 
who are now and have been for some time 
residents of Los Angeles. California, and the 
author hereof, John F. Snow, of Decatur. 
On the 24th day of March, 1873, Rebecca 
H. Snow departed this life at the old home- 
stead in Ceylon and is buried in the family 
cemetery near the banks of the Wabash 




■ ■ 

■ --..--' 





y' *»■*&* 


B. B. SNOW, M. D. 



iiver. During the greater part of her life 
she was a member of the Methodist church. 
13 r. Barton. B. Snow, her husband, was a 
local Methodist preacher from 1853 to 
]86o, but with him politics and religion did 
not harmonize, as during the slavery agita- 
tion ministers were expected to deliver such 
messages as were sent them by the officers 
high in authority in the church, which in 
some instances smattered more of a political 
harangue than a mission of Christ and Him 
crucified. The doctor consequently with- 
drew from the ministry, though he fre- 
quently preached throughout the country 
neighborhood. After graduation he began 
the practice of his profession at New Cory- 
don, in Jay county, Indiana, and met with 
good success from the beginning of his ca- 
reer. Within a few years he bought out his 
preceptor, Dr. Milligan, at Portland, and 
practiced there until 1S60. In 1858 he pur- 
chased a ont-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm 
north of Alexander, in Wabash township, 
and subsequently moved to Adams county 
and there resided until his death on the 3d 
day of December, 1875. In 1859 he bought 
the steam saw mill built at Alexander by 
Jacob Conkle and successfully operated it for 
a number of years. He subsequently, in 
1S69, erected the first heavy steam circular 
saw mill ever built in southern Adams coun- 
ty and went into the lumber business on an 
extensive scale for that day. When the 
Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was built, 
in 1871-2, his mill furnished all of the bridge 
timber for five miles north and for five miles 
south of the Wabash river, excepting the 
"How truss" bridge across the Wabash at 
Ceylon. In 1873 he platted and laid out the 
town of Ceylon and erected the first steam 
grist mill in the county south of Decatur. In 

all of his enterprises he entered with the 
same energy and perseverance that marks 
effort with success. 

He was well and favorably known in the 
political world, though in no sense a practi- 
cal politician. In 1866 he received the nom- 
ination over six competing candidates as a 
democratic candidate for congress of the 
eleventh congressional district, to which 
Adams county then belonged. But as the 
state went republican at that election he was 
defeated with the state ticket. In the mem- 
orable campaign of 1866 he and his oppo- 
nent, General John P. C. Shanks, made a 
joint canvass of the entire congressional dis- 
trict, delivering two speeches apiece each day 
for a period of about six weeks in duration. 

The Decatur Eagle of August 17, 1S66, 
gives the following report of the nominating 
convention : "The congressional convention 
convened at Wabash, Indiana, on the 9th of 
August, 1866, and David Studabaker was 
chosen as chairman of the convention. Upon 
a call of the counties it was found that 
each county in the district was represented. 
The courthouse was insufficient to accommo- 
date the convention and it adjourned to meet 
after noon at the fair grounds. The follow- 
ing names of candidates for congress were 
announced: Dr. B. B. Snow, of Adams 
county; Newton Burwell, of Wells county; 
General James R. ' Slack, of Huntington 
county; Hon. James F. McDowel, of Grant 
county; James W. Sansberry, of Madison 
county; David Moss, of Hamilton county, 
and J. F. Henderson, of Howard county. 
After a number of ballots the two leading 
contestants were Dr. Snow and General 
Slack, and on the eleventh ballot Snow had 
sixty-seven and Slack had sixty-one votes. 
Mr. Snow was then declared the nominee of 

6 4 


the convention. The Doctor, in an appro- 
priate speech, thanked the convention for the 
honor conferred upon him." Following no- 
tice of the nomination appeared in the Miami 
Sentinel of August 16, 1866: "The democ- 
racy of the eleventh congressional district 
met at Wabash on the 9th instant and nomi- 
nated Dr. B. B. Snow, of Adams county, as 
their candidate for congress. The conven- 
tion was large and enthusiastic and although 
there was a very spirited contest between 
the candidates, there was nothing to detract 
from the harmony of purpose that pervaded 
the whole. Dr. Snow, the candidate, is a 
gentleman of high standing and unspotted 
integrity. He is well posted upon the politi- 
cal issues of the day and a very able speaker. 
He has heretofore crossed arms with Colonel 
Shanks, his opponent, in local contests and 
has always been an overmatch for him." 

Lewis Mattax came to Adams county and 
settled in section 26, in Monroe township, in 
1840. At that time the country was an un- 
broken forest, without roads or other im- 
provements. By incessant industry he cleared 
and improved his large farm and had one of 
the first and largest orchards in Monroe 
township, and it is said the first hedge fence 
in Adams county. As most early residents, 
he came to this county in a wagon drawn by 
an ox team from near Martinsburg, Ohio. 
Until his cabin was ready to live in the 
wagon cover was converted into a tent that 
answered all purposes. In time the log 
buildings gave place to more commodious 
frame structures. In 1862-3 he erected one 
of the first large frame bams in the souih 
part of the county. About this time he was 
appointed drainage commissioner and was 
instrumental in having Little Blue creek's 
prairies drained through Monroe iownship. 

He at various times served as justice of the 
peace, and for several years held the Canoper 
postofnee at his residence. He was an 
ardent supporter of the Democratic party, a 
Presbyterian in religion and was largely in- 
strumental in having the first church house 
built in Salem (now Steele), Indiana. This 
was the second Presbyterian church in the 
county and the only one south of Decatur. 
He was a man of much natural ability and 
foot adze or wythe together a broken wagon 
could use a grubbing hoe or mattock for a 
tongue or double-tree and win out in the 
achievement of his purpose when his less in- 
genious neighbor would fail. He grew to 
manhood on a farm in Greene county, 
Pennsylvania, and received a good common 
school education, came west and settled final- 
ly in his home in Adams county. Lewis Mat- 
tax was born on the 22d day of January, 
181 1, in Pennsylvania, was married on the 
28th day of August, 1835, to Miss Anna 
Stephenson, who was born in Knox county, 
Ohio, on the 24th day of July, 181 5. To 
them were born five children, three sons — 
Laban, William L. and Davidson; two 
daughters — Mary E. (now Mrs Eley) and 
Ruth (Mrs. Burket), deceased. Mrs. Eley 
and the three brothers reside in Blue Creek' 
and Monroe townships. 

John McConnell was left an orphan when 
he was but six years old. At the age of ten 
years he was employed to drive oxen and 
haul mud and brick for his board at six 
and a fourth cents a day. When he was sev- 
enteen years old he learned the blacksmith's 
trade and received three dollars a month 
until he had his trade thoroughly mastered. 
His mother being a widow, much of his 
earning? went for support of her and the 
family. In 1S40 he came to Adams county, 



then being but twenty-one years of age, and 
with bis partner, John Nail, bought cattle 
and hogs and drove them to Cincinnati and 
Dayton markeis. By these means he was 
taught the results of the victory over adver- 
sity and learned from first hand the business 
methods and the customs of the 
trades and mercantile people. On the 
10th day of July, 1845, he was married to 
Luanda McDennitt, of Fayette county, 
Pennsylvania, who was born on the 22d day 
of September, 1822, who has long survived 
her husband, who died on the 28th day of 
January, 1875. She now resides with her 
son, Frank McConnell, in Root township. 
To them were born six children — Mark M., 
Joseph L., George W. and Frank, the sons, 
and Margaret (Mrs. Blood) and Mary (now 

Mr. McConnell was a man of excellent 
common sense and bore the reputation of 
having an untarnished character and was a 
very influential and useful citizen. Aside 
from two other county officials — Samuel L. 
Rugg and James B. Simcoke — Mr. McCon- 
nell perhaps made more of the early' county 
record as an officer than any other man who 
has lived in Adams county. He served as 
county commissioner two terms, as county 
auditor four years, as clerk of the circuit 
court and several terms in the Indiana gen- 
eral assembly as a representative, and was 
township trustee at the time of his death in 
1875. He was one of those men who gave a 
creditable account of his stewardship wheth- 
er as a private citizen or as a public officer. 

josiafa Crawford came to Adams county 
Torn Pennsylvania in 1840. Previous to his 
coming to Indiana he was engaged in the 
mercantile business with his father. On ar- 

riving in this state he and his brother, John 
Crawford, bought a large tract of land in 
Wabash township and at once engaged in 
the purchase of cattle and hogs as drovers. 
Their stock was marketed at Cincinnati and 
other points along the Ohio river. On the 
return trips they brought fine stock cattle 
and hogs for the home demands as the set- 
tlers came into the country. Their importa- 
tions of McGce hogs and short-horned Dur- 
ham cattle took the places, to a certain ex- 
tent, of the common stock, then known as 
"elmpeeler" hogs and "pennyroyal" cattle. 
Josiah Crawford took an active part in poli- 
tics, and his large acquaintance, made by the 
business in which he was engaged, made him 
a prominent factor to be reckoned with in a 
political canvass. It has been said that, "If 
there is anything that Joe Crawford liked 
better than a political convention, that it was 
two political conventions." He was a Jack- 
son Democrat and an admirer of the old gen- 
eral in several ways. The subject of this 
sketch held several important official posi- 
tions, among which were justice of the peace 
of Wabash township, was one of the three 
public school examiners from 1852 to 1856, 
and was -county commissioners of the tturd 
district from 1856 to 1874 — eighteen con- 
secutive years. It is said of him that he had 
a judicial turn of mind and that while serv- 
ing as count} r commissioner he knew all the 
law and supreme court decisions of Indiana 
that bore in any way upon roads, drainage 
or real estate. He was one of the commis- 
sioners during the Civil war period and be- 
ing a man of liberal views, commonly en- 
couraged such public utilities as he consid- 
ered were within the reasonable reach of the 
county's finances. At that time provisions 
were made for temporary relief of war wid- 



ows and their children. Within his term of 
office the present Adams county courthouse 
was built. By many of the taxpayers this 
edifice was considered entirely too expensive 
for the financial condition of the citizens of 
the county. Mr. Crawford's conclusions can 
now be realized as proper and correct, as the 
public building has stood for thirty-five years 
and now is nearly the same as when first 
built, the tower having been changed in 
1902. So far no other county officer has 
served so long continuously in one office in 
this county as Mr. Crawford. "Uncle Joe," 
as he was usually called, was perhaps the last 
person in the county who habitually used to- 
bacco snuff. He always carried his snuff- 
box, and was well supplied with a stock of 
quaint anl laughable stories that he pleased 
to relate to his friends and acquaintances. It 
is also said that he was fond of a practical 
joke on the "other fellow" whenever an op- 
portune occasion should be presented. The 
father of the subject of our sketch was of 

Irish descent and his mother was of Welsh 
origin. He was born in Waynesburgh, 
Pennsylvania, on the 21st day of April, 
181 1, and was united in marriage on the 
25th day of March, 1S41, to Miss Rosana 
Abnett, who was born in Virginia, April 
10, 1S16. To them was born one child — 
Mary Jane — who became the life of Abra- 
ham Rawley, and is now deceased. Mrs. 
Crawford died on the 10th day of Decem- 
ber, 18S4, and preceded her husband about 
nine years, he reaching the age of nearly 
eighty-three years. After a residence in 
Adams county of fifty-four years he depart- 
ed this life at the old homestead in Wabash 
township on the 19th day of February, 1894. 
During Mr. Crawford's long public service 
his integrity was never questioned, even by 
those who differed greatly with him as to 
what was for the best interests of the com- 
munity in general or for the greatest public 


The early residents of this part of the 
country tell us that the wolves gave them 
more trouble and were more dangerous than 
any other wild animals in the country. Abra- 
ham Studabaker related an incident in which 
he was an actor that shows how nearly he 
was killed when a child of about fourteen 
years of age. He was sent up the "Dismal" 
creek to hunt the cows one day in June and 
was returning home somewhere to the east 
of the present residence of Christian Burg- 
haUer, when he heard the leaves rattling a 
few rods away from him, and upon looking 

in that direction he saw a large gray wolf 
going seemingly in the same direction that 
he was traveling. The wolf was evidently 
following him and was hungry, as he could 
see its tongue occasionally passed out over 
the end of its nose. He sprang to the near- 
est sapling, which was nearly too small to 
keep him out of the woif's reach. He climbed 
up as far as he could but the tree began to 
bend over with his weight. As soon as he 
started for the tree the wolf started 
after him and he barely got out of its reach- 
It would go back from the tree, run and 



jump up and snap at him. But he was just expected to soon return home and left her 
beyond its reach. He said if ever a boy little babe in charge of one of the older 
yelled it was he, but his yelling did him no children. Along in the middle of the after- 
good, as no one came to his aid or assist- noon she started home but missed her way. 
a»c.e. After numerous efforts to reach him Instead of going north she went west and 
by jumping, the wolf ran rapidly away, a when night overtook her the wolves began 
hundred yards or more, and got behind a to howl in all directions. They came near- 
large elm tree and would put its head just er and nearer and she could easily hear 
past the tree to watch him. This ordeal them running in the leaves. She selected a 
lasted for about two hours or more, when it young tree or sapling with some good-sized 
returned and again tried to reach him by limbs that she could hold on to and climbed 
jumping. This time it became discouraged up beyond the reach of the wolves. They 
and ran away cut of sight to the south- closed in upon her and sat upon the ground 
west. \\ hen clear beyond his view he got and howled. She heard some men chopping 
down and ran home. His story was i elated and hollowed as loud as she could. The 
to his father, who at once returned with men stopped and she hollowed again. They 
him to see the place where the wolf had treed then came to her relief with hickory bark 
him. When nearing the spot they saw the torches. They helped her to find her way 
wolf trailing around in a circle about the home. They were coon hunters that chanced 
tree, but upon their approach it soon ran to be in that part of the country. When 
auay. she was found she was near Grim's prairie, 
Another incident is related in which Mrs. just the other side of where the present town 
Jacob Closs was lost and was attacked by of Peterson is located. On her return home 
the wolves. She was the mother of Mrs. she found that her neighbors were out hunt- 
Jesse Niblick, of Decatur. Her husband ing for her and her little babe was using its 
was at work southeast of Decatur and one utmost energy in an inquiry of the where- 
of ternoon she went out to see him. She abouts of its mamma. 


Robert Simison relates an incident of an build on the ground and carry dry grass, 

easterner who came with a hunting party leaves and small branches of trees and make 

to Tort Recovery when he was at home with a covering over the nest, leaving it hollow 

»>s father. In north of Fort Recovery inside. Those nests were frequently a 

i'.crc was some fallen timber on some low fair sized brush heap, but always built in 

lauds. This was a favorable haunt for about the same manner and readily recog- 

bean, It is the custom of the bear to make nized by the experienced hunter. When 

■■-• ir winter quarters in a thicket as near completed the bear would crawl into the 

"OUie fallen tree as convenient. Thev would nest under the heap of brush and remain 



there throughput the winter; that this "ten- 
derfoot" hunter walked up aiong the trunk 
of a fallen tree and jumped over onto the 
top of this brush pile, as he supposed it to 
be. The bear had not yet started in for 
his winter's nap and sprang out and ran oft 
at full speed. When asked why he did not 
shoot the bear, in much excitement he said : 
"Why, I didn't know that I had a gun." 
Another incident in which Mr. Simison 
was a prominent factor is thus related : The 
location was on Three Mile creek, just south- 
west of Beuna Vista, about the year 1S40. 
He was returning home one afternoon and 

saw some young hogs running almost di- 
rectly toward him. He, on looking again, 
saw that a bear was after them. He at once 
climbed upon the trunk of a fallen tree near 
him. The hogs ran on past him, the bear 
following to within about twenty feet from 
him, when it stopped and stood on its hind 
feet and seemed to be looking directly at 
him. He knew that he had no gun, but 
felt badly in need of one. Somehow bruin 
did not like his looks and started off on a 
canter toward the river and was soon out 
of sight. 


There is an incident related by Robert 
Simison, who followed some Indian horse- 
thieves and secured the stolen property. The 
horse belonged to his brother, who lived 
near Fort Recovery when the horse was 
taken. Robert and his brother were near 
Fort Jefferson working in the harvest. His 
brother became sick and they both returned 
home and found that the horse had been 
gone for two days. Arrangements were at 
once made to follow the trail of the thieves 
and recover the horse. An ample supply 
of ammunition, bullets, etc., was provided 
and a supply of rations for several days. 
The brother being sick, Robert started alone. 
The first day's travel took him in west of 
where Portland is situated. A campfire 
showed that the Indians had stopped there. 
The next stop was southwest of Peunville, 
or Camden. The next camp was nearly a 
day's travel to the northwest and was on a 
small stream, perhaps the Mississincwa 

river. Here he overtook the Indians in the 
afternoon, perhaps about three o'clock. He 
could hear them talking and see some of 
their horses that were tied to trees in the 
distance. He considered it dangerous to 
attempt a rescue of his property alone in 
the daytime, so he cast about for a suitable 
hiding place till the darkness should shroud 
his movements. Such a place was found 
in the top of a leaf)- elm tree that had been 
recently blown down. He had hardly se- 
creted himself among the leafy boughs when 
he saw his horse coming into camp ridden 
by an Indian, who was carrying a deer. on 
before him. At that time there was an 
unwritten law that permitted the killing of 
the thief if found with the stolen property, 
and especially so if it was slaves, horses or 
cattle. Mr. Simison says that he could easily 
have shot the Indian oft the horse but chose 
to resort to other means of securing the 
stolen horse. Said he: "I lay in conceal- 



merit until away after dark, then crept up 
cautiously near their camp. They had some 
dogs with them and one came within a rod 
6i me. but I was unobserved. They put a 
bell on my horse and tied his front legs, or 
feet, together with bark so he could not 
travel. I had no trouble in reaching him, 
gave him some salt and cut the bark from 
his feet. I then took some dry leaves and 
stuffed them into the bell and put it on the 
neck of an old pony near by. I then un- 
stopped the bell that it might jingle as the 
pony moved and this way not arouse an)' 
suspicion should they wake at any time 
within the night. I led my horse a little 
way off and got on him and rode away as 
fast as I could through the woods. After 
a while, in the after part of the night, the 
moon went down and it was too dark for me 

to see which way to go. So I got off of 
the horse and waited — it seemed hours to 
me — until daylight came and the birds be- 
gan to sing. I then started on and got 
home that evening. In the morning I took 
the horse and went with him to Greenville 
and left him there. The next day 1 walked 
back to my brother's. I got there about 
noon and found the Indian who had been 
riding the horse and another Indian there, 
and my brother's wife getting dinner for 
them. As soon as I came up I noticed them 
looking at my feet. I had changed the moc- 
casins that I wore when I went after the 
horse for the shoes I had on. This perhaps 
removed their, suspicions from me and may 
have saved my life. These were Miami In- 
dians, whose reservation was near Peru, 



Along from 1S40 to i860 it was not un- 
usual for pioneer neighbors to live from 
three to five miles apart. The heavy work 
of rolling logs and raising houses required 
many hands. At that time it was expected 
that neighbors help each other, and so they 
did. In certain seasons of the year there 
were rollings and raisings nearly every day 
in the week. When the day's work was 
none sports of various kinds were commonly 
indulged in, and all enjoyed themselves for 
''ie rest of the day in true backwoodsman 
Myle. After raising the P. N. Collins cabin, 
which stood in the northeast corner of see- 
muo i'0, in Wabash township, which raising 

was in the early part of November when the 
last tints of fall hung on the 
verge of winter, the party was 
entertained at the home of An- 
drew McDonald, who was a shoemaker by 
occupation, and a good fiddler. After the 
raising was done and the dinner over some 
one suggested that the party go up Canoper 
creek and cut a bee tree. William Stoek- 
ham, "Billy" Henderson, William Vance, 
Arthur McHugh and others were in the 
party. The country at that time, and espe- 
cial'y the Canoper bottoms, was infested 
with snakes, large and small, of several 
kinds. Mr. Collins knowing; the custom of 



the country at that time, had secured a good- 
sized jug of "snake-bite remedy." This was 
judiciously applied before starting on the 
hunt of the bee tree. Colonel William Vance 
had a fine rifle he usually carried with him. 
William Stockman rode an old gray horse 
that had seen better days, but was as "willin' 
a critter as was ever rid." John Walker had 
some fine hounds that he claimed could tree 
a deer on the prairie. The party had just 
gotten on the raise north of the river when 
they saw a large wild male hog buried to the 
shoulders in the leaves, hunting nuts Tind 
acoms. Henderson was in the lead, next 
came Vance, who with his trusty rifle that 
he called "Swcetlips," wanted some fun, and 
proposed to shoot the hog. All were woods- 
men and knew that to attack a hog like that 
meant to fight or run, as he would pursue 
any animal in sight. The party with the ex- 
ception of Walker protested against his 
shooting. Bang! went the gun, and every 
fellow excepting Stockham "cooned" up the 
nearest sapling and was soon beyond the 
hog's reach. Vance purposely shot the hog 
through the top of the back, which only an- 
gered him for fight. The hog threw up his 
head with a booh ! booh ! ! booh ! ! ! 

and viewed the field for battle. 
Stockham and old gray were the 
only enemies visible to the naked 
eye and the chase at once began. The hog 
was of the slab-sided, elm-peeler variety that 
could outrun any ordinary dog. Old gray 
was carrying her owner and two large home- 
made wooden buckets with bails strapped to- 
gether. As she galloped the buckets flopped 
up and down and finally fell off. His hog- 
ship was close to gray's heels at the time, but 
stopped and hit each a separate lick with his 
snout, thus giving Stockham a chance to get 
away. The hog followed on, but was left in 
the chase. After the danger was all over one 
of the party was seen sitting on the ground 
with his legs wound around a sapling, laugh- 
ing at Stockham's flight, telling what he 
would do with an old gray mare like that. 
Walker from his perch in the tree yelled: 
"What are you doing on the ground there" ? 
"Why," said Henderson, "that gol darned 
varmint would have et me up, too, it I 
hadn't dim this tree." Stockham's vigorous 
kicks and a lively application of a hickory 
gad prompted old gray to a jogging trot and 
as soon as the shot was fired the race began 
— perhaps the only one of its kind on record. 


Along the Wabash and Saint Mary's 
rivers and the Blue Creek prairies were the 
hunters' paradise. At first there were many 
of them, and it is said that John Nelson paid 
for a forty-acre farm by the sale of deer 
hides and hams — "saddles," as they were 
then crdled. Ben Baum, John Walker, Wil- 
liam McArdlc and Tosie Wilson — as he was 

known — and William Boram had the repu- 
tation of being successful hunters. Wilson 
and Walker were also noted as bear hunters. 
One method used is said to have been to bait 
the bear with honey. The bee tree having 
been located, honey was placed along tip the 
side of the tree near the hive, or hole, in the 
tree. A knot maul was so swunc that the 



bear would strike it in climbing up the tree. 
As he fought it away it would swing back 
toward him. He would become so much in 
earnest in his fight as to lose his hold on the 
tree and fall to the ground and would be lia- 
ble to alight on the points of some sharpened 
stakes that were set near around the foot of 
the tree. Wilson, when seen by the author 
hereof, lived in Alexander and was carrying 
two large spotted pike fish he had shot some- 
where up in the Loblolly — a large, shallow, 
swampy stream that intersects the Limber- 
lost at Alexander. At this time Mr. Wilson 
was in his bare head — it is said that he never 
wore a hat — wore a spotted fawnskin vest 
and had moccasins on his feet. "Uncle" 
Johnnie Walker, as he was frequently called, 
told a fish story that discounted any we have 
lately heard. It is said that a Mr. Plum 
owned and operated one of the first taverns 

on the banks of the Limberlost at Alexan- 
der; that he had a little brown jug that was 
very handy to carry "fish bait" in ; that it dis- 
appeared and he never knew its whereabouts, 
but in spells of "drouth" its absence was 
sorely felt; that one June evening a year 
or two after the disappearance of the jug 
Mr. Walker was fishing in the creek just 
southwestof the tavern when he got a bite 
that gave him great encouragement. He in 
true fisherman style hauled up, but was never 
more surprised, as here came Plum's little 
brown jug. But the hook was caught on 
the inside. By a hasty examination he found 
that a large catfish was inside of the jug. In 
his surprise he carried his catch into town 
and placed it on exhibition at the James 
Childers store as a curiosity of the village. 
Plum never got his jug nor did Walker ever 
sav where he eot his fish bait. 


William Boram, it is said, lived near De- 
catur and was very fond of hunting. He 
owned a fine rifle that seemed to be the pride 
of his heart. If he happened to be at a raising 
or a log rolling he would never fail to com- 
ment on the good qualities of his gun. A 
Mr. Roe, who lived southeast of Decatur, at- 
tempted to "call him down by a joke some- 
thing like this : "Look here, Bill, here is a 
bullet that I found in one of the biggest deer 
I ever killed. It looks to me just like it was 
made for your gun." Bill examined the bul- 
let "Yes, that is a bullet from 'Old Ginger. 
I'd know the bullets from his molds if I'd 
see them in China." "So vou are sure that is 

a bullet from your gun" ? "Why, certainly 
I am. I could swear to that. Don't you see 
them ridges around the center of the bullet ? 
There ain't another Ginger gun in the coun- 
try. He always made his guns that way. I 
have the best gun in the settlement and there 
isn't any around here like it." "But say, 
Bill, I butchered last week and found that 
bullet in the shoulder of one of by big black 
hogs. How do you suppose it got there"? 
"Well — er. Well— that settles it now for 
good." "Settles what, Bill"? "Why, I'll 

just be if I'll ever lend that gun again 

to old Jim Jones. He's nearly spiled its rep- 




The old Plank Road Company let its in- 
terest go unpaid and its road became nearly 
impassable, at least in certain places. It was 
sold by decree of court and became the prop- 
erty of J. D. Nutman. Travelers retused to 
pay the tolls and a test case was brought by 
the arrest of a stranger in one of the taverns 
at Monmouth. Ezra Mallonee kept the toll- 
gate and house. The gate was torn down 
and the house went up in smoke. As the 
story goes, along about the last days of the 
plank road tolls a man carne riding along on 
horseback and the gate-keeper tried to col- 
lect tolls from him, bur he parsed on through 
and stopped at the "Fleming," in Monmouth. 
An affidavit was procured and a war- 
rant issued and put into the hands of 
the local constable for his arrest. The officer 

located him at the Ziba Dorwin grocery, 
which at that time was a general loafing 
place in the long fall and winter evenings for 
the villagers. The warrant was read to the 
stranger as. "You are hereby directed to ar- 
rest John Doe and forthwith, etc, etc., a per- 
son whose true name is unknown." When 
the officer had read the warrant he reached 
to take hold of his man to make his arrest 
complete, the stranger stepped back and 
drew a brace of pistols and said : "No man 
with a Peter Funk warrant can take me." It 
is needless to say that there was a general 
scramble from in front of his guns. He or- 
dered his horse and at once proceeded on his 
way toward Port Wayne. No further at- 
tempt was ever made to collect tolls by pro- 
cess of law. 


About the Civil war time in the dinger, 
or Eartmas, neighborhood, southeast of 
Alexander, on the Wabash, resided a fas- 
cinating widow that seemed to possess some 
of the powers attributed to the witches of 
the colonial times. At least her magic spell 
had its influence on a certain practitioner, 
who would make frequent calls and leave his 
horse to the elements of the weather for 
hours at a time. The goblins— or the "regu- 
lators," perhaps — were overcome with an 
idea that developed and matured into action. 
One dark night the physician I ?) after mak- 
ing his usual extended stay late in the even- 
ing came out to find a team of cattle, instead 

of "Old Baldy," his horse. A muley cow, 
with a sheepskin strapped en her back, and 
an ox, all harnessed, with a side saddle ready 
for an elopement — or bridal tour. There 
was a certain man by the name of McLeod 
that was particularly desirous of knowing 
the whereabouts of the horse. He gave the 
alarm that his horse had disappeared and the 
neighbors turned out to see tl . elopers' out- 
fit and talk about the missing property. It 
was gone, was the most that was known ( ?), 
and it was some time before it was located. 
When found it was "stabled" in the mow of 
a double log barn and had ascended the log 
walls and gone through the mow hole eight 

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feet from the floor. Word soon passed the 
rounds that "the lost is found." The neigh- 
bors now turned out to see what the witches 
had done. It was wonderful indeed how 
"Old Baldy" had ever climbed that wall of 
logs and stabled himself. McLeod's worry 
was rather how lie could be gotten down. 
After much worry ( ?) and discussion it was 
suggested that it would take a large number 
of men and much effort and labor to swing 
the horse out of the mow and safely land 
him on the barn floor. And that it would re- 

quire, at least calculation, two gallons of 
Finkbone's best corn juice to accomplish the 
undertaking. McLeod put up the "juice" 
and a wagon rack was carried onto the barn 
floor, a rail pen built under it, "Old Baldy" 
led and pushed into the rack from the mow 
and the rail pen was removed, rail at a time, 
by taking away the bottom rails first. The 
elopement outfit and Baldy's experience were 
the nearest demonstration of witches' work 
that had then been reported on the Wabash. 


The first cabin houses in Adams county 
had neither chimneys nor puncheon floors. 
An open place at the top of the roof let in 
the sunlight and let out the smoke from the 
wood fire that was built in the middle of the 
house on the ground. But few of the resi- 
dents of Adams county ever had that kind of 
house. But as there were no mills or lumber 
of any kind, puncheons were split out and 
hewed for floors for cabin houses. The 
cracks made by the joinings of these punch- 
eons sometimes were made the matter of 
much interest to housewives in a social way, 
and to the indifferent urchin, who happened 
to be the schoolboy who did not "toe the 
mark" when in the class for recitation. There 
is an incident related by "Uncle" George 
Pontius as a part of his experience when he 
was first married. At that time he iived in 
Ohio and came with his young wife to live 
in Hartford township along in the forties. 
On his father's farm there was a house that 
he intended to occupy, but when be came 
learned that it was alFeady occupied by a 
poor man with a large family of children, 

who could not find another house in the 
whole settlement in which to move his fam- 
ily, which in his case meant principally to 
call the dogs, put out the fire and vacate the 
premises. The cabin was about sixteen by 
eighteen feet in size, with the 
usual large fireplace, clapboard door, 
with wooden hinges, and right in 
the woods. The father said that it 
would be an inhuman act to force these peo- 
ple with little children out in the winter 
snows and cold, and if the two families could 
agree they could divide the house. Mr. Pon- 
tius had a big cooking stove, perhaps one of 
the first in the south end of the township. 
This was set at one side of the house with a 
pipe out through the window. The punch- 
eons were counted and a division line was 
agreed upon. Pontius's line ran to the sev- 
enth crack and all beyond the seventh crack 
belonged to the original occupant and his 
family. There was always harmony so long 
as all stayed on their own side of the seventh 
crack; beyond which tradition "sayeth not." 




An incident is related of a wedding in 
Blue Creek township, in which the cracks in 
the puncheon floor caused the minister to 
stop, back out and begin the marriage cere- 
mony all over again. The parties are said to 
have been the young widow of a Mr. Wil- 
liam Higgins, who was about to marry a 
Mr. Johnson. The wedding feast had been 
prepared, the minister and the guests were in 
attendance and all was moving along with 
the tide as the "two hearts beat as one," were 
about- to be legally sealed with the minister's 
approval. The couple took their places at 
the back of the room facing the cabin door. 
The minister had proceeded with the cere- 
mony required of Mr. Johnson and turning 

to the fair young lady, asked : "Do you take, 
this man, etc., etc."? "No," she said. "This 
wedding must stop right here. I never will 
get married with the cracks in the floor run- 
ning between us and the preacher. We must 
stand on ihe same puncheon \V ith him and no 
cracks between us." The blushing bride-to- 
be had her way and changed position with 
the preacher at one end of the puncheon and 
the prospective bride and groom on the 
other. The wedding then proceeded and the 
fair Rebecca, without a wave of sorrow 
"across her peaceful breast," was married 
without a crack between them and the 


The south part of the county at one time 
had a number of persons who answered to 
the same name. The Nelsons had a number 
of Charleys and Jims and Johns, as Isaac's 
Jim, Charity's Jim and "Read-headed" Jim, 
and so on. The Bakers were legion in Wa- 
bash township at an early day, and had they 
not emigrated the south end of the county 
might now be about all Bakers. There was 
"Big Ike," "Old Ike," Jake's Ike 
and Sol's Ike, and it would take 
a good memory to recall them all. 
In the Baker neighborhood there was a cer- 
tain bran-new widower by the name of Jake, 
who took a fancy to his brother's widow, 
whom we shall call "Betsy." This fancy soon 
budded and grew very rapidly 10 develop- 

ment. The near relation? of both remon- 
strated at the speedy consummation of af- 
fairs, but all to no avail. Jake informed his 
acquaintances that he could do his own 
"sparkin'," and would get married when- 
ever he pleased. Instead of a line 
in fare feast the brothers sent word 
to the Fords, Nelsons. Lintons. 
Coles, Galloways, Buckinghams and 
Buckmasters that there would be "big do- 
ings" on the Wabash directly, to come pre- 
pared for an all night's job; that there would 
be plenty to eat and something to drink ; to 
come and help Jake enjoy himself. The 
wedding day came, so did the hellers. Their 
"musical" instruments consisted of horse fid- 
dles, cow bells, shotguns and revolvers, a 



bier bass drum, a circular saw, carried on a 
crowbar on the shoulders of two men, while 
one of them played on it with a riveting 
hammer; a large dinner bell mounted en the 
hind truck of a wagon was bolted to a high 
standard in the bolster. Besides the instru- 
ments named there were some of more re- 
fined tones, as dinner horns and violins. On 
arriving the crowd selected two captains and 
chose up — one half ate and drank while the 
other half played the music. Jake was defi- 
ant, would not come to the door or even to 
the window. The house was closed up as 
tight as an oyster. However, you could see 
light shining through the blinded windows. 
The kitchen part had double sash windows, 
with six lights eight by ten glass. The mid- 
dle glass below in the upper sash was out. 
The captains agreed that all music should 
cease and an invitation be extended to the 
bride and £>room to come to the door and re- 
ceive the "grand salute" of the serenaders. 
This Jake absolutely refused to do. He was 
then prevailed upon to stand with his wife 
near the window that they be seen by the 

crowd. This he consented to do. But the 
crowd declared that he must put his head 
through the sash where the glass was out so 
they could get a better view of him. This he 
at first refused, but finally consented under 
the "solemn" promise that the music would 
cease and that the crowd disperse and go as 
soon as it had marched past the window and 
taken a good look at the bride and groom. 
The head was poked out of the window ac- 
cording to agreement, but the procession had 
hardly started when Lew Wolf, who was 
stationed just below the window, fired a 
horse pistol almost in Jake's face. This put 
Jake in action at once. The protruding head 
was speedily drawn in, as was the greater 
part of the upper window sash. Things in 
that kitchen were "blue" for an hour, Jake 
making all manner of threats and accusa- 
tions. However, the music played just the 
same till the morning sun lit the east, when 
the serenaders departed, leaving the much- 
honored couple to the enjoyment of the com- 
ing years. 


Along in the sixties there lived a Switzer 
in the southern part of the coun- 
ty by the name of Johntry, who 
had his own ideas in regard to 
witches, spooks and tokens. He from all 
reports was an honest, industrious citizen. 
Who lived near Buena Vista. It is reported 
that he had much faith in the bent hazel 
sprout, when properly carried, as an indi- 
cator of a good water vein, the proper place 
to locale a well; also that witches called 

upon certain individuals to mete out punish- 
ment — or justice — to them, as the case 
might be, upon certain occasions in the 
nighttime ; that it was within the province of 
the favored few to successfully "charm" 
them away. The knowledge of this pecu- 
liarity of Mr. Johntry seemed to invite some 
of the resident young men of the neighbor- 
hood to attempt some fun at the expense of 
one of their party. Practical jokes were at 
that time much more common than at the 

7 6 


present day. Within the party mentioned of remembrance, trie boys would say : "Oh, 
were: P. N. Collins, afterwards state repre- that Blewer, he's a nice feller. He come and 
sentative and count) surveyor; Harry Blow- £e e my Lanv. He's a nice feller, that Blew- 

ers, Abe Staudabaker, Thomas McHugh 
and some of the Vance beys, of whom there 
were several. It is said that Blowers, Col- 
lins and Studabaker vied with each other to 
determine who could most often out-trick 
the other. As the story goes, Mr. Johntry 
had gone to Conkle's mill at Alexander with 
a sack of com to have ground. He drove an 
ox team, hitched to the hind truck of a 
wagon. He was detained until evening be- 
fore he started home. Several of the men 
mentioned talked to him in regard to his 
trip home in the night, and of his passing 
the graveyard, etc. One of the party told 
him that there would be no danger ; that 
sometimes a lot of mischievous boys had 
tried to scare people, but that no ghosts ever 
came along that road. That the thing to do, 
if anyone did try to make bother or trouble, 
was to g;ad them good with his ox whip. The 
boys had posted one of their number that everything and run.' Didn't you hear it 

Johntry would soon start for home, and for blGU ■ 
them to meet along near the Studabaker 

graveyard to see the "ghost dance." They In the spring of 1856 Mathias Hilton had 

secreted themselves along the way and soon a sugar "stirring" and a party for the young 

they heard the team coming. The ghost in people of the neighborhood. As usual there 

white sheet took his position in the road, were some youngsters present who had an 

The oxen tried to shun past it — first to the eye for fun and some practical jokes. They 

right and then to the left — but he would set to telling ghost stories to frighten the 

head them off. In broken English came the timid so they could be scared on their way 

expression: "Vot iz doze"? Veil. I \ ill virid home. In this party were William Hender- 

you oud alreaty." Witti ox gad in hand, son. John Hilton, Harry Blowers, Edward 

Johntry proceeded to clear the way. A few and Levi Nelson among others. The Nel- 

well directed strokes were all that were re- sons had no fear of ghosts, and so expressed 

quired to cause the ghost to evaporate into themselves. They were told that they were 

nothingness. It is said that Collins in par- not too old to change their minds; that cer- 

ticuiar enjoyed this joke, it' a padding with tain persons whose word was perfectly re- 

an ox whip is a joke. In after ;. .Mrs, by way liable had seen things between Barras's and 

er." As is often said, time will prove all ac- 
counts. This account was not only' proven, 
but, perhaps, squared when Collins built his 
frame barn. The workmen were not always 
prompt to start to meals when the horn 
blew. This annoyed Mr. Collins and he told 
them that "When the horn blows drop every- 
thing and run." Collins and Blowers were 
carrying loose shingles up the ladder for the 
barn roof. Blowers watched an opportunity 
and was near the top of the ladder and Col- 
lins just starting up behind him, The horn 
blew. Harry let all holds on the shingles go 
and they pelted Collins from head to foot. 
After picking up his straw hat and passing 
his hand over the bald, smooth place on his 
head, he exclaimed: "Why, sir! For what 
did you do that"? "Because," said Blowers, 
"you said that, 'when the horn blows drop 



the Aspy farm that they could not explain, just take my jack-knife and cut me a cane, 
and surely it was nothing else but the. work i est t get fceb]e before I get home. Just 

of ghosts. Levi Nelson, then about eighteen 
years old, was woiking near Mr. Aspy's 
farm and expected to return home by that 
road. His attention was held until most of 
the others of the party had started for home. 

ahead of him, seemingly in the path, stood 
an object, the like of which he had never be- 
fore seen. Cracking brush and muffled 
groans were again in evidence. He halted 

The road he had to travel was through the a moment and with slower step approached 

woods over a newly cut out track. He had a liuie nearer to the object. Surely his ear? 

gone but a short distance when unnatural and eyes were not deceiving him? No. sir; 

noises and groans were heard at the road- it was right there, and no mistake about it. 

side. A flash of light in the path soon at- Then in an inquiring tone he spoke: "Be 

tracted his attention. He then recalled the you man or devil? You had better speak," 

statement, "That the goblins will get you if and with a jump forward brought his cane a 

you don't watch out," but went on his way, sweeping stroke. The poor "ghost" not only 

willing to prove all things and to hold fast spoke, but fairly yelled, but vanished not. 

to only that which is good. Those dreadful As another stroke or two would have left a 

groans could again be heard at the road- lifeless Hilton on the ground, the groans 

side near him. He was unarmed, but had a from the roadside changed into loud calls of, 

good pair of legs that had never yet failed "'Levi, don't hit him again; Levi, let 

him in times of need. But, thought he, I'll him go!" 


.(Mr. Paul G. Hooper once wrote a very 
creditable brief history of northern Adams 
county. If we are not mistaken, the follow- 
ing is from Mr. Hooper's pen :) 

Tradition says that away back in the for- 
ties, when J. D. Nutman & Co. 
were operating a bank in what 
was then the little village cf De- 
catur (Decatur, by the way, was a very 
small place then) some two hundred and fifty 
or three hundred people constituted the sole 
population, but Mr. Nutman operated a dry 
p'ods store and in connection with the bank 
had grown wealthy. In those days there 

was a state law in effect that required every 
banker or bank to have on hand, on certain 
dates,' certain amounts of cash in proportion 
to their capital stock. It was in the days 
when cash was scarce and it was quite a bur- 
den on this bank to carry the amount ot 
cash required. Just across the river in a 
hewed log house, which has been torn down 
within the last decade, lived Eli Zimmerman, 
Sr., one of the pioneers of this county, who 
was a large land owner, very economical, a 
splendid financier, and even in those early 
days had accumulated a large amount of 
cash, but he did not have any use for banks 
and it was said that he rarely deposiced his 



money in banks at all, but kept it in nooks 
and comers of the house ; sometimes in a 
knothole, sometimes in a crack in the wall, 
in a discarded coffee po*., or any place that 
was handy. So it came to pass that during 
the years that this law was in effect Mr. Nut- 
man was frequently called upon for a large 
amount of cash and he always had recourse 
to the coffee pot and stocking of Mr. Zim- 
merman. He would deposit securities with 
him when he would need cash for the bank 
and after the bank examiner had taken his 
departure the cash was returned and the se- 
curities taken up. There was nothing irreg- 
ular about this transaction and it filled the 
letter of the law. But it happened at one 
time that Mr. Zimmerman had purchased a 
large tract of land and made other invest- 
ments, therefore when the banker called 
upon him for the ready cash he did not have 
it, and Mr. Nutman was forced to look else- 
where for the accommodation. There was 
only one place available, and that was Fort 
Wayne. In those days a stage coach ran 
between Decatur and Fort Wayne twice a 
week. The road between the two towns was 
lined on both sides by dense forests, broken 
only here and there by a few clear fields of 
early settlers. In the northern part of the 
state was almost an impregnable swamp or 
wilderness known as the "Haw Patch." It 
was infested by a band of horsethieves, who 
had a thoroughfare from southern Ohio to 
that point and were supposed to have sta- 
tions along the road where horses were se- 
creted and kept for a few days at a time as 
they were sent from one part of the stiie to 
another. Decatur was supposed to contain 
several members of this gang, they were 
outlaws of the worst type, and did not hesi- 
tate to murder if it was necessary for them 

to carry out their aims. Word possibly 
passed to this gang that Mr. Nutman had 
gone to Fort Wayne for cash in anticipation 
of the visit from the bank examiner. At any 
rate the gang thought it would be profitable 
to hold up the stage coach between Decatur 
and Fort Wayne. The stage coach started 
from Fort Wayne about 9 o'clock in the 
morning on the day on which the attempted 
robbery took place. The roads were almost 
impassable and it was long after dark before 
they arrived. At a dark and gloomy portion 
of the road about two miles north of the vil- 
lage of Monmouth, as the driver was floun- 
dering through the mud of the creek bottom, 
and just as he pulled up on the 
corduroy bridge crossing a creek, 
a light was flashed in his face 
and he was ordered to hold up his 
hands. The command was emphasized with 
the cold muzzle of a long-barreled rifle 
thrust into his face. There were some five 
or six of the band who had surrounded the 
coach. There were some four or five pas- 
sengers in the coach besides Mr. Nutman. 
All were made to climb out and hold up their 
hands while a thorough search was made of 
each individual. The only spoils secured by 
the robbers were two or three silver watches, 
a few dollars in silver and a little currency 
of small denominations. The fat roll that 
Mr. Nutman was supposed to have in his 
possession as a result of his visit to Fort 
Wayne was not found. After the search was 
made the parties were allowed to resume 
their seats in the coach and proceed on their 
way. No one knew where Mr. Nutman had 
secreted the money until the next day, when Jinkinson was taken into the confi- 
dence of the banker and the ingenious hiding 



iitoce of the currency revealed. The search 
of the robbers had been very close. Every 
pocket of Mr. Nutman had been turned 
wrong side out — the lining - of his coat had 
been ripped open and he haa even been made 
to take off his shoes, but the robbeis over- 
looked the fact that the old gent wore a silk 

tile. If they had examined that they would 
have found several bills of large denomina- 
tion carefully secreted in the lining of the 
hat. The robbers were never identified and 
therefore never brought to trial, although 
opinions were freeiy expressed as to their 


In the earlier days throughout the west 
the stump speaker, usually the politician, 
sought preferment at the hands of his con- 
stituent countrymen. The custom of canvass- 
ing for votes was to collect the settlers at 
some stated place and deliver a "stump 
speech" to convince them of the efficiency of 
the speaker to represent their interests in the 
political office to which the speaker aspired. 
To be more plainly understood and to be 
seen as well as heard, the prospective candi- 
date would mount the stump of a tree and 
present his case and discuss the issues repre- 
sented by his party, while his hearers would 
stand near him or sit upon the ground as his 
auditors. An incident is related of two con- 
testants who wanted to be chosen as dele- 
gates to the convention to frame the state 
constitution of 185 1-2. This position car- 
ried with it about the same responsibilities 
and duties as are now required of a member 
of the state legislature. In this particular in- 
stance we will not give the true names, but 
the occurrence will serve the same. One 
candidate was- an honorable old resident 
whom we might call Mr. Hisey, who had a 
fund of good, hard common sense that was 
well seasoned with experience. The other a 
young man just from college, with a very 

high opinion of his own attainments, and 
who placed a very low estimate on the abili- 
ties of those who were less educationally fa- 
vored than himself. This young man we 
shall call Mr. Cicero. The date and place 
for the canvass for votes was agreed upon 
and the time divided by agreement as to how 
long each speaker should talk. At the ap- 
pointed hour the young man made his ap- 
pearance with a number of papers and books 
presumably to make an outward show of 
what he thought he knew. He was dressed • 
in the latest style and the most "taking" 
fashion. His opponent, with a neat but 
homespun suit and heavy boots and soft 
wool hat, ambled into the crowd, shaking 
hands with Jones and joking with Johnson 
and making a general acquaintance as he 
came toward the "stump" from which the 
speaking was to be done. The committee- 
man announced that the time had arrived for 
the speaking to proceed and called upon the 
speakers to divide their time. Mr. Cicero 
spoke first. He told over and over arrain 
how well he was qualified to represent his 
countrymen in making a constitution that 
should stand as the basis of all subsequent 
laws of the "great and good state of Indi- 
ana." He quoted from the files of the papers 



he had with him and referred to his Latin 
Dictionary to prove that the pronunciations 
and quotations were faultless. Then in clos- 
ing his polished remarks he de- 
manded that his opponent should 
refute the statements he had made, 
or that if he did not do so, that 
then, in that event, his constituent? could 
easily discern that he was the most able and 
the best qualified to serve as their delegate 
in the constitutional convention. At the 
conclusion of his remarks Mr. Hizey, his op- 
ponent, as we shall know him, arose and 
without apology or explanation, stated : 
"Well, that speech was something wonder- 
ful, and he wants me to reply to what he 
said. Now, he spoke some things that you 
don't understand. lie said, among other 
things, 'Vox populi, vox dei,' and 'Verbatim 
et literatim.' Now, you don't understand 

what that means, but I do. It means the 
tighter you twist the lion's tail the louder he 
will roar; and coming nearer home, gentle- 
men. 'Verbatim et literatim,' well, that inter- 
ests ever} - hunter here. It means the tighter 
the 'possum wraps his tail around the paw- 
paw limb the harder he is to shake loose. 
Now, is that the kind of language you want 
to be represented in? Send me to be your 
delegate. I can speak in the United States 
English. Then, there's that twisting the 
lion's tail. Didn't we twist it yet enough? 
Ain't old England ready to quit? What has 
that to do with the delegates to the state con- 
stitutional convention? I am at your service 
and can tell what you want." It is needless 
to say that Mr. Hisey was selected as the 
delegate in compliance with the "vox populi" 
of that district. 


By an act of the Indiana general assem- 
bly of 1835 provisions were made to organ- 
ize the newly acquired lands into counties. 
It provided that, "All the unorganized ter- 
ritory to which the Indian title has been ex- 
tinguished in the state shall be laid out into 
a suitable number of counties, and for other 
purposes." By this act the counties of Jay, 
Adams, DeKalb, Steuben. Whitley, Kos- 
ciusko, Fulton, Marshall. Starke, Pulaski, 
Jasper, Newton am! Porter were laid out. 
But it was . not until January 
23d, in 1836, that tin- organiza- 
tion was completed by the gov- 
ernor issuing a writ for the first election to 
be held on the firsi Monday in April follow- 

ing to choose officers to manage the county 
affairs. In 1852 the state adopted a new 
constitution and made many new laws. At 
this time, June 7, 1852, the following bound- 
ary lines were established for Adams county : 
"Beginning at the state line, where the line 
dividing townships twenty-eight and twen- 
ty-nine intersects the same, thence west to 
the northeast corner of section 5, in town- 
ship twenty-eight north, range 13 east, 
thence south to the line dividing townships 
twenty-four and twenty-five, thence east 
with the north line of Jay county to the east- 
ern boundarj- of the state, thence north with 
the state line to the place of beginning." 
thas making the county fourteen miles wide 

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IT- ; .1 . 

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and twenty-four miles long. Adams counts- 
is bounded on the east by Ohio and is the 
fourth county south of the Michigan line 
and contains about two hundred and fifteen 
thousand acres of land. The county is di- 
vided into twelve townships, four of which 
are congressional townships, six miles 
square; the center tier — Root, Washington, 
Monroe and Wabash — are the congressional 
townships. The others — Union, Preble, 
Kirkland, Saint Mary's, Blue Creek, French, 
Hartford and Jefferson — are but four miles 
wide and six miles long. The Ohio coun- 
ties bordering Adams on the east are Van 
Wert and Mercer, each of which was organ- 
ised on the 1st day of April, 1820. On the 
south is Jay county, on the west is Wells 
and on the north Allen county. From 1818 
to 1823 what now is Adams county was a 
part of Randolph county, with the county 
seat at Winchester. From 1823 to 1836 
Adams was a part of Allen county. Since 
1836 Adams has enjoyed the ad- 
santages of a separate and dis- 
tinct county organization of its own. 
In the election held on the first Mon- 
u:;y in April, 1836, Joshua S. Rhea, Samuel 
Smith and William Heath, Jr., were chosen 
as the board of county commissioners; Sam- 
uel L. Rugg was elected county clerk and 
David McKnight was chosen sheriff. The 
local county government was then much as 
now, largely und r . the charge of the county 
commissioners, who at once set to work to 
complete the county organization by making 
' : '<-' appointment' of such officers as were re- 
•;i>!rtd and not included in the writ of elec- 
n. The first meeting of the board was on 
die 9th day of May. 1836, at which time 
. <•■ cmiah Roe was appointed county ti eas- 

urer for the next ten months. The law then 
in force provided that, "The county treas- 
urer shall collect taxes between October 15th 
and November 15th each year at the voting 
place at least one day and collect taxes from 
November 15th to the succeeding third 
Monday in March, and attend at his office at 
the seat of justice," David McKnight as 
county assessor, and John K. Evans, as col- 
lector of the state and county revenues for 
the year from the first Monday in May, 
1836. John K. Evans was also appointed as 
seminary trustee and gave a bond of twenty- 
five dollars to insure the faithful perform- 
ance of his duties. 

The first order made after the appoint- 
ments directed Sheriff McKnight to adver- 
tise that the organization of the official ma- 
chinery of Adams county, Indiana, has been 
completed, as required by law. This notice 
was given by publication in the ''Fort 
Wayne Sentinel," then a weekly newspaper 
three years old. At the first meeting of the 
county board of commissioners the matter 
of selecting a county seat, or neat of justice, 
was considered. And on the 10th of May a 
commission of four members — William 
Stewart, J. H. McMaken, William G. John- 
son and Robert Hood — were appointed to 
examine the various sites offered as county 
seats and to report in writing to the county 
board on May 18, 1836. The board ad- 
journed to that date. Four locations were 
submitted for the commission's considera- 
tion. The board of county commissioners 
convened at the residence of Join Reynolds 
— about three miles northwest of the present 
city of Decatur — to receive the report. At 
that time there was no public buildings of 
any kind in the county. At the time and 


place stated the county seat commissioners 
met the board of county commissioners and 
submitted the following report : 

"May 16th. The commissioners ap- 
pointed to locate the county seat of ihe 
county of Adams agreeably to the provisions 
of an act of the genera! assembly of the 
state of Indiana, approved January 23, 1836, 
met at the house of John Reynolds in said 
county. Present : William Stewart, Joseph 
H. McMaken, Robert Hood and William G. 
Johnson, who being duly sworn, according 
to law, proceeded to examine the different 
sites offered for the county seat of said 
county, and after examining four sites, to- 
wit : The site of Thomas Johnson, R. L. 
Britton & Henry Work, Joseph Morgan & 
Thomas Prichard, and Samuel L. Rugg, the 
commissioners returned to the house of John 
Reynolds, as aforesaid, adjourned until to- 
morrow morning. 

"May 17th. The commissioners afore- 
said now proceeded as far toward the center 
of said county as they deemed expedient and 
found it impracticable to establish the county 
seat of said county at the center, and after 
returning to the house of John Reynolds 
aforesaid organized themselves by appoint- 
ing William Stewart president and Robert 
Hood as secretary and thereupon notified the 
proprietors of town sites to hand in their 
proposals. Whereupon Thomas Johnson 
handed in his proposal, marked "A," R. L. 
Britton and Henry Work handed in their 
proposal, marked "B": Samuel L. Rugg 
handed in his proposal, marked "C," and Jo- 
seph Morgan and Thomas Prichard handed 
in their proposal, marked "D." and the com- 
missioners adjourned until tomorrow morn- 

"May 1 8th. The commissioners afore- 
said met pursuant to adjournment. Pres- 
ent the same members as yesterday. There 
being no further sites offered or proposals 
made, the commissioners aforesaid, after due 
deliberation, do select the site offered by 
Thomas Johnson as the most suitable, and 
thereupon permanently fix and establish the 
county seat of the county of Adams on the 
site, being part of the northeast quarter of 
section 3, township 2j north, range 14 east, 
and thereupon proceeded to the aforesaid 
town site and marked a white oak tree about 
two feet in diameter with two blazes on four 
sides, on each of which the commissioners 
individually subscribed their names: which 
tree is to be within the said town site. And 
the commissioners adjourned without day. 
"Willjam Stf.wart, 
"Joseph H. McMaken, 
"William G. Johnson, 
"Robert Hood." 
It is said that the site proposed by Sam- 
uel L. Rugg was what was recently the Ton- 
nelier farm on the south side of the Saint 
Mary's river, adjoining what is now Deca- 
tur, extending west from where the Grand 
Rapids & Indiana Railroad crosses the Saint 
Mary's river. That the Morgan & Pritch- 
ard site included the present town of Mon- 
mouth and on west to the river. That the 
other town sites were the proposed 
town of Manheim, some distance below 
Monmouth, at what is known as Ball's run, 
on lands subbequently owned near Vaschal 
Ball's. south of the river. And 
the fourth is said to have been 
where the present town of Monroe is situ- 
ated. v\ ithin the proposal as made by 
Thomas Johnson, if his town site be selected 
as the county seat of Adams county, were 



that lie give his individual notes to the coun- 
ty for the sum of three thousand one hun- 
dred dollars, five hundred dollars of which 
was payable in twelve months, and two thou- 
sand six hundred dollars in thirty-six 
months after date; that he plat the town 
site in lots and give a half acre for the public 
square, one acre for a county seminary (the 
seminary acre is just south of the water 
works park); that he donate one desirable 
town lot to each the Presbyterian, the Catho- 
lic, the Baptist and the Methodist church de- 
nominations for church purposes; that he 
would pay all expenses of the locating com- 
missioners and furnish a building in which 
to hold court and transact the other county 
business until a courthouse could be erected. 
John S. Rhea donated twenty acres off of 
the west end of an eighty-acre tract (part 
of the southwest quarter of section 2- — the 
old county fair ground), and Samuel L. 
Rugg donated ten acres north of Marshall 
street and west of Third street, including 
the water works park. At the June session 
of the county board of commissioners — 
1836 — Jeremiah Roe resigned as county 
treasurer and John Reynolds was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. At this session the coun- 
ty clerk was directed to advertise for pro- 
posals to build a county jail, to be completed 
by July 1, 1837. The first contract was 
given to Richard McKnight and William 
Lewis, but they secured the services of Bazil 
Browning. In September, 1837, twenty-five 
dollars was allowed James Wilson on order 
of William Lewis and David McKnight, 
contractors for building the jail; and later 
an order was drawn payable to Bazil Brown- 
ing in the sum of three hundred dollars as 
payment for completion of the jail. Thus 
the first jail, a double-hewed log structure of 

two rooms above and two below, cost the 
sum of three hundred and twenty-five dol- 
lars. In 1 868 John W. Williams, who was 
put in for some misdemeanor, was released 
by someone boring off the two thicknesses 
of logs into his cell. Lafayette Riley was 
arrested and tried for aiding the prisoner 
to escape. The jail was never used much 
after that time. At the January session, 
1836, of the court the following named per- 
sons were called upon to serve as jurymen 
for the spring term of court : 

On the grand jury were : Abraham Eli- 
fritz, George Ague, Joseph Wise, Marvin 
Gorsline, James Niblick, Daniel Stevenson, 
Joshua Major, Levi Russell, Zachariah 
Smith, Sr., Jacob England, James M. Ful- 
ler, Ruel Risley. Thomas Ruple, Thercn 
Harper, William Heath, Jr., William Ball, 
Robert Simison and Jonathan Lewis — 18. 

On the petit jury were: Michael Roe, Eli 
Zimmerman, Robert Niblick, Boston Rock, 
Michael Rock, William Major, George 
Hopple, George Weimer, Jeremiah An- 
drews, Daniel Ball, Samuel Smith, Abner 
Fuller, Joel Roe, David McKnight, William 
Boram, Aaron Archer, Bail W. Butler, 
James M. Wilson, James Burdick, Peter 
Studabaker, Jonathan Roe, Robert D. Tis- 
dale, John W. Wise and Alexander Smith 

At the May, 1839, meeting of the board 
of county commissioners the contract was 
let to John Reynolds, then county treasurer, 
and Samuel L. Rugg, county clerk, for the 
building of a frame courthouse forty feet 
lonr and thirty feet wide and two stories 
high : that the boards next to the street 
shall be plained ; that the downstairs, or 
iirsr-floor. room be for court purposes and 
the second storv in several rooms as the 

8 4 


county agent, who at that time was Enos 
XV. Butler, who shall oversee the construc- 
tion of the work, may direct. The log" jail 
and the frame courthouse served their pur- 
pose for nearly forty years. The present 
courthouse was built in 1873 at a cost °^ 
about ninety thousand dollars. It is fairly 
modern in construction ; is three stories in 
height, including the basement ; is seventy by 
one hundred and twenty feet in dimensions, 
with a fine tower, that reaches about one 
hundred and seventy-five feet high. This 
structure stands in the center of the public 
square, is on the trolley line of the Spring- 
field & Fort Wayne road, is a useful public 
improvement. However, if its builders had 
set its foundation six feet higher it would 
have shown up to a much better advantage. 
Its cornerstone, which was laid with Ma- 
sonic and Odd Fellow ceremonies on the 
4th of July, 1S72, on the north side, con- 
tains the following: ''George W. Luckey, 
Josiah Crawford, George Frank, county 
commissioners. Senior Worden, auditor. 
James R. Robo, attorney. J. C. Johnson, 
architect, Fremont, Ohio. Christian Bose- 
ker, contractor and builder." Originally the 
tower was not properly supported. It was 
massive and was in the center of the build- 
ing, right over the large court-room, with 
no support directly under the center that 
reached the foundation on the ground. It 
was upon a bridge work that rested on the 

side walls of the building, and by the sway- 
ing back and forth by the wind storms be 
came dangeious and was taken clown in 
1900 and removed. A new tower with suit- 
able anchorage and supports was built at the 
front of the structure; is made of solid 
brick work sixty or seventy feet above the 
main building, which not only adds much to 
its appearance, but makes it a tasty and dur- 
able structure. The old frame courthouse 
stood at the corner of Madison and Third 
streets, to the west of the present building, 
and on the opposite side of the street. It 
was removed to Front street near Jefferson 
street and is now a lodging house, the prop- 
erty of Willard Steele. The old log jail 
stood in the southwest corner of the public 
square and was used until about 1870. 
Eight years later it was burned down. In 
1886 the present new jail — -a large, com- 
modious building of about a dozen and a 
half apartments, cells, etc., besides the sher- 
iff's residence, was erected on the east side 
of Market street, the ground extending back 
to the river. This structure originally cost 
between twenty-five and thirty thousand 
dollars, but has been repaired and made 
more modern by electricity and city water 
and other conveniences, so that its present 
cost is not far from forty thousand dollars. 
It has large and roomy ground, is well lo- 
cated and is a model modern public building. 


In 1S33 what is now Adams county was Indiana general assembly in January, 1836. 

Root township, Allen county, with the In the new county's allotment of territory to 

count}- seat at Fort Wayne. This township townships it reserved a strip six miles wide 

was formed into a county by an act of the from north to south and extending west 



from the Ohio state line ten miles and called 
this division Root township, Adams county. 
All south and west of this was called Saint 
Mary's township, and its organization dates 
from May 9, 1836. On the 20th day of 
June, 1836, a part of Saint Mary's township 
was organized into Wabash township by a 
line running east and west from Wells coun- 
ty to the Ohio state line about three miles 
north of the present Wabash township line. 
In March, 1838, the township of Jefferson 
was organized by striking off a tract four 
miles wide and six miles long from the 
southeast corner of Wabash township. Blue 
Creek township was formed at the same ses- 
sion of the commissioners' court by taking a 
tract of Wabash township three miles wide 
and four miles long that lay directly north 
of Jefferson township and a like amount off 
of the southeast corner of Saint Mary's 
township. At this session Washington 
township was organized from a block from 
Saint Mary's township six miles square di- 
rectly south of the west part of Root town- 
ship. Preble township was organized at the 
next session of the commissioners' court 
within the same year from a part of Saint 
Mary's township that was four miles wide 
and six miles long, directly west of Root 
township. French township was organized 
in January, 1839, and was composed of a 
strip four miles long and three miles wide 
from the southwest corner of Saint Mary's 
\ township- and a like sized strip from the 
northwest corner of Wabash township. 
Monroe township was organized in March, 
1840, being a tract six miles square taken, 
the one-half from Wabash and the other 
half from Saint Mary's townships. At the 
next session, the same year. Union town- 
ship was set off from the east side of Root 

township, and on the Ohio state line, a town- 
ship six miles long and four miles wide. In 
1841-2 Kirkland and Hartford townships 
were organized; Kirkland from Saint 
Mary's, west of Washington, is four miles 
wide and six miles long; Hartford town- 
ship, directly west of Wabash, four by six 
miles in size. For the first four years of the 
county's existence as a county Hartford was 
a part of Wabash. About as soon as a new 
township was organized an election was held 
to select the usual township officers, which 
at that time were justices of the peace, con- 
stables, inspectors of elections, the township 
trustee subsequently managed the du- 
ties of that office; supervisors of 
roads, two overseers of the poor, 
two fence viewers, later the township 
trustee's duty. As Root and Saint Mary's 
were the first townships and comprised then 
the limits of the present county, they held 
the first elections of township officers. The 
election of 1S36 in Root township honored 
the following named citizens with offices : 
Enos W. Butler, inspector of elections ; fence 
viewers, Jonas Pence and Bail W. Ball ; for 
road supervisors, Joel Roe and William 
Ball ; overseers of the poor, Vaschel Ball and 
John W. Wise. In Saint Mary's township, 
fall of 1836, Thomas Ruble, who lived east 
of where Berne is now situated, inspector of 
elections. Fence viewers were Zachariah 
Smith and Joel Roe ; overseers of the poor, 
William Heath, Sr., and Eli Zimmerman. 

The first regular county and state election 
held after the organization of Root and 
Saint Mary's townships in Adams counts- 
showed the following votes polled, as shown 
by the records : General election of October, 
1836. For VanBuren electors. Root town- 
ship, 21 votes; for William H. Harrison 



electors, 45 voles. In Saint Mary's town- 
ship, VanBuren, 7 votes; Harrison, 2~j 
votes; making a total of 100 votes polled in 
the presidential election, William H. Har- 
rison's plurality being 44 votes. In this 
election William Vance, the first state repre- 
sentative, received 14 votes in Saint Mary's 
and 26 votes in Root township, making 40 
votes. His opponent. John Burke, re- 
ceived 3 votes and his opponent, Joel Grover, 
received 6 votes. Vance's plurality over his 
opponents was 31 votes. The next election, 
October, 1837. Mr. Vance received 29 votes 
and his opponent, George A. Tate, received 
10 votes; Vance's majority, 19 votes. The 
task of the first election inspectors was cer- 
tainly nominal. The fence viewers' duties, 
as well as those of the road supervisors, were 
soon to demand more attention, as the lines 
of farms were all to locate, and to fence a 
farm often meant to change the traveled 
road. The law of 1S52 provided for three 
township trustees and placed upon them the 
duties of inspector of elections, fence view- 
ers and overseers of the poor among other 
duties. A portion of the road law then in 
force was: "Any person may have swing- 
ing gates put on such township highway on 
his own land, under such regulations as such 
trustees shall prescribe, but in such case he 
shall keep the same in condition to be opened 
by persons on horseback; and any person 
" leaving any such gate open for every such 
\offense shall be liable to a fine of one dollar, 
to be recovered before a justice of the 

From 1845 to 1855 it was not uncommon 
to see land buyers going on horseback, in 
bunches of from three to six or eight or 
more, conducted by some resident citizen. 
These men were in pari what were then 

termed "speculators." who were look- 
ing for investment of their funds in "west- 
ern" lands. Frequently land was bought up 
in large tracts and retailed out to smaller 
purchasers, who came as settlers from the 
older states. In 1850. as shown by the rec- 
ords, the following were some of the largest 
tracts of land and their owners in Adams 
county : 

M. F. Burkhead, 1,080 acres; Eli Zim- 
merman, 1,000 acres; Denison Tinkham, 
530 acres ; Morgan Smith, 465 acres ; Sam- 
uel Acker, 410 acres; Bazil Hendricks, 400 
acres ; Henry Fueling, 400 acres ; Peter 
Mover. 400 acres; Peter Moser. 375 acres ; 
John Watson, 360 acres ; John Hartman, 
360 acres : Josiah Crawford. 360 acres ; John 
Everhart, 360 acres ; J. Buffenbarger, 360 
acres; Reuben Lord, 355 acres;. Alexander 
Fleming, 352 acres ; Thomas Fisher, 346 
acres ; Daniel Ball, 330 acres ; George A. 
Dent, 329 acres ; James Glendening, 325 
acres ; Thomas Watson, 320 acres ; Peter 
Lhaman, 320 acres ; Samuel Agit. 320 acres ; 
Henry Galbreath, 320 acres ; John H. 
Blakey, 320 acres; John K. Evans, 310 
acres; Adam Faey, 310 acres; John Steph- 
ens, 2S0 acres; Isaac Falb, 275 acres; Wil- 
liam McDonald, 275 acres. 

The management of the roads and schools 
was materially changed by the adoption of 
the second constitution of the state in 1852,. 
and the power of taxation was removed 
from the majority vote of the residents and 
placed in the hands of a board of three 
school and township trustees. Then the era 
of school house building was begun with 
some system and regularity. The report of 
1850 shows that there were twenty-eight 
school districts in Adams comity; that five 
were in Root township, tour in Washington 



w - 

S 2 a ! 

R?r» r' 

^a 1 a*****- 


'fii': . 

I] t 




township, three in Wabash township, three 
in Hartford township, two in Saint Mary's 
township, two in Kirkland township, two in 
French township, two in Union township, 
two in Monroe township, one in Blue Creek 
township, one in Preble township, and one 
in Jefferson township; that these had no 
reference to the private or subscription 
schools as then frequently conducted by in- 
dividuals who "boarded" with the patrons 
and charged tuition by the week or month, 
but these were regularly organized districts 
that received from the county authorities 
their share of the interest provided from the 
congressional and other school funds of the 
state. These schools were commonly small 
in numbers of attendance from the sparse- 
ness of the inhabitants. One serious hin- 
drance to the early development and settle- 
ment of the county was the lack of means 
of travel, the great distances to mill. The 
milling part soon received the attention of 
the settlers, who built small horse mills and 
water mills on the larger creeks. Riley's 
mill at Wiltshire was built in 1822 and was 
the nearest milling point for the residents 
of the county for years. Muldoon's first 
mill at Williamsport, on the Saint Mary's 
river, between Decatur and Fort Wayne, 
was built along about 1841 or 1842, and was 
one of the early mills. Bond's mill at Cam- 
den, once known as Pennville, was built 
about 1836 or 1837. Arnett's mill at New 
Corydon and the Nederhouser mill at what 
is now Buena Vista was built about 1S57 — 
the last two named are on the Wabash river. 
E. A. Godard in 1834 built a saw mill at 
what was later Pleasant Mills in perhaps 
1840, put in a buhr for grinding com, etc., 
built a grist mill perhaps about 1843 or 
1844 for general grinding of wheat. The 

Saint Mary's river, though much shorter 
than the Wabash, carries three times as 
much water. At an earlier day the water 
was much deeper in these streams than at 
the present time and could be forded at only 
certain places. It is said that flour was car- 
ried in canoes from New Corydon to Peru 
while the Indians still held their reservations 
there as a tribe. As late as 1866 Caleb Pen- 
ock and Aaron Brown rafted walnut lumber 
from Brown's mill at Alexander down the 
Limberlost to Huntington to market. About 
the same time a man by the name of Melsh- 
heimer rafted oil barrel staves to Bluffton 
down the Wabash river. Along in the for- 
ties a carding machine and woolen mill was 
built on the Wabash below New Corydon 
near the "Daugherty eddy" by a man whose 
name was Jones. lie operated a woolen 
mill, bought and traded for wool, beeswax, 
maple sugar and furs. He traded cloth and 
yarns for these products. Made frequent 
trips down the river to market his produce 
and manufactured goods. Further down the 
Wabash, but just across the county line in 
Wells county, was a woolen mill built about 
1S65 at New Villc — later known as Vera 
Cruz — by A. Daelhousen, who had about 
one hundred and seventy-five spindles for 
the manufacture of woolen goods. It is said 
that he often used the river as a conveyance 
and traded his manufactures for furs, wool 
and other marketable articles. The residents 
of Shanesvilie, Willshire and Decatur often 
carried their merchandise down the Saint 
Mary's river to Fort Wayne in large canoes 
and flatboats. E. A. Goddard and George 
Heath, in 1846, changed the machinery of 
their first mill at Pleasant Mills into a new 
building and put in turning lathes and a 
carding machine and woolen mill; did a 



good business for a number of years and a 
greater part of their shipping to market was 
by boats until the plank road was completed 
in 1853. In June, 1S69, D. O. Jackson and 
T. L. Wilson rafted thirty-two thousand oil 
barrel staves and a large lot of oil barrel 
heading to the Fort Wayne market from De- 

Commonly the smaller water saw mills 
made little more lumber than was needed for 
home use. In 1843 tne Wabash & Erie 
canal was completeed from Toledo, Ohio, to 
below Lafayette, on the Wabash river. And 
in 1851 the Ohio & Indiana (now known as 
the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago Rail- 
road Company) began its organization; in 
1853 was put in operation and in 1856 was 
consolidated and put under one manage- 
ment. These new modes of transportation 
were the means of bringing a new and dif- 
ferent class of investors into the country, 
known as "speculators." The first roads 
used by the white people through the coun- 
try followed the higher grounds and were 
known as "by roads," or those indicated by 
blazed trees. It is said that the road from 
Decatur to Stockham's store at Monroe in 
1850 was just about the shape of a snake 
track in the dust. Then and at that time 
even township roads were allowed to be 
fenced over. Trustees were required to have 
guideposts placed at the forks or the cross- 
ings of ail public roads as then located. The 
law of 1852 was: "Every supervisor shall 
erect and keep up at the forks of every high- 
way and at every crossing of roads within 
his district, guideposts ami boards with 
proper inscriptions and devices thereon, the 
expense thereof to be paid out of the town- 
ship treasury." It was years after the loca- 
tion of the Piqua and the Winchester roads 

before the traveler was limited to their road- 
beds. When the adjoining fields were to 
be fenced then a demand was made of the 
fence viewers and surveyors to locate the 
lines. The early surveyors, however, were 
more fortunate then in locating the corners, 
as there were witness trees and the land 
boundaries were more easily marked and the 
road as time wore on took a permanent loca- 
tion and was marked by the new rail fence, 
a very convenient and handy assistant in the 
"corduroy" and "chuck-hole" period of the 
development of the county. As the specu- 
lator element took up a certain part of the 
land, it set to work to secure better roads 
that their properties be more accessi- 
ble to the prospective purchasers. The na- 
tional government had provided that from 
three to five per cent, of the funds derived 
from the sale of government lands within 
the states of Ohio and Indiana shall be ap- 
plied on the improvement of the public 
roads. The Piqua and Winchester roads 
were cut out and improved by the use of this 
fund. In July, 1837, Esaias Daily was ap- 
pointed county road commissioner and in . 
1S39-40 expended between six hundred and 
seven hundred dollars on removing- the lojrs 
from and ditching the principal public roads, 
then in use. Within the next ten years toll- 
road companies were organized all over the 
state. In this part of the state there seemed 
to be a scarcity of gravel with which to con- 
struct the roads. But as the finest oak tim- 
ber was in abundance, the plank road com- 
panies were organized. The legislature of 
1844 passed some enactments that greatly 
encouraged the plank road ideas. In the 
spring of 1848 the Fort Wayne & Piqua 
Plank Road Company was organized, with 
Samuel Hanna as president and O. W. Jef- 



fers as secretary. The Fort Wayne & Bluff- 
ton Plank Road Company was organized in 
1S50, with Thomas Sweney as president and 
P. P. Bailey as secretary. The contract for 
both of these roads was let to S. and \V. S. 
Edsall, of Fort Wayne, at one thousand six 
hundred dollars a mile. The charter for this 
road was granted by the legislature of 1849 
and certain laws regulating tolls, etc., were 
enacted. Some of the provisions were: 

"When three consecutive miles of plank 
or gravel road shall have been completed, or 
if the whole of said road shall be less than 
three miles in length, then in such case, when 
the whole of such road shall be completed, 
the directors of such company may erect toll 
gates at such points and at such distances 
from each other a& they may deem it proper 
and exact toll from persons traveling on the 
road; but on any uncompleted road of less 
than five miles toll shall be charged one year 
only. The tariff of tolls shall not exceed the 
following rate: For any sled, sleigh, car- 
riage or vehicle drawn by one animal, one 
and one-half cents a mile. For every ani- 
mal in addition thereto, one-half cent a mile. 
For every horse and rider or led horse, one 
cent a mile. For every score of sheep or 
swine, two cents a mile. For every score of 
neat cattle and mules, five cents a mile. Per- 
sons going to and from funerals and sol- 
diers of the United States, while in active 
service, shall be exempt from tolls." What 
is known as the Piqua road followed the 
Wayne trace and was regularly surveyed, 
widened and cut out about 1830 by Benja- 
min Lytle. In 1 850-1 the roadway was 
ditched and graded, preparatory to the Fort 
Wayne & Piqua plank road that followed 
the Piqua road from Fort Wayne to directly 
north of Decatur at what is known as the 

Pillars farm, then came south through De- 
catur and passed to the southeast up the 
river to Pleasant Mills and on to Willshire 
and Shanesville and Saint Mary's, Ohio. 
Before 1853 Pleasant Mills and Monmouth 
were towns of much greater commercial im- 
portance than Decatur because Decatur was 
across the river south of the main traveled 
road from Piqua to Fort Wayne. The Saint 
Mary's river then had no bridges and when 
the water was up the fords were impassable. 
One ford was above Decatur two miles, near 
Yellow creek; Smith's ford and the other 
Ball's, or Reynolds's ford, about three miles 
below Decatur. The plank road was kept in 
good repair through Decatur for ten or 
twelve years and is said to have been a good 
investment and a wonderful convenience to 
the traveler. When repairs were discontin- 
ued travel decreased and the road soon went 
into the hands of a receiver, and was sold to 
J. D. Nutman, then a resident of Decatur. 
The traveling public refused to pay tolls, the 
toll houses were burned and the toll gates 
torn down. While this road was at its best 
the stage coaches were a great convenience 
to the traveler. A stage line ran from Saint 
Mary's to Fort Wayne and return, and from 
Decatur to Monroeville, and for a time from 
Decatur to Newville and to Bluffton. Among 
the stage line owners may be named William 
Blackburn, George Fettick, Frank Crum. 
Simeon Hein and Garret Welsch. These 
stages could conveniently earn- from six to 
eight passengers and went through on the 
trot with four-horse teams, changing horses 
every ten or twelve miles. They carried the 
mails and some light articles of freight or 
express. The stage business after 1S60 was 
very laborious and really unprofitable on ac- 
count of the bad conditions of the roads. It 



was continued, however, until the Grand 
Rapids & Indiana Railroad began its opera- 
tions in 1872. Along the line of travel from 
Decatur to Fort Wayne were the famous 
"Oakland" and "Ashland" taverns just be- 
low Monmouth on the old Piqua road. The 
"Oakland" was a large, two-story, hewed- 
log building, with a frame addition in front ; 
was built in 1838 by Andrew Wise, who 
brought the glass, nails, window sash and 
doors direct with him from Pittsburg, Penn- 
sylvania. He descended the Ohio river to 
Cincinnati, then went by canal to Piqua and 
by team to Adams county. This tavern had 
many subsequent landlords after 1845, at 
which time Mr. Wise went to Fort Wayne 
to educate his children. During the plank 
road era James K. Blackburn was its land- 

The Ashland was another favorite stop- 
ping place for the traveler. It was between 
the Oakland tavern and Monmouth, perhaps 
a mile beyond Alonmouth. It was built by 
Ezekiel Hooper perhaps about 1837; was a 
two-story hewed-log building, with large 
brick fireplaces and a barn attachment large 
enough for a small regiment of horses. At 
times the barnyard was crowded with cov- 
ered wagons of movers from the east. Mon- 
mouth also had its hostelries. It is said that 
Ziba Dorwin at one time owned three tav- 
ern buildings in the village. That there were 

a long list of tavern-keepers, among whom 
we may mention Jonathan Fleming, Samuel 
Randall. Chester Burt, who later came to 
Decatur, bought out the Joseph Crabbs tav- 
ern and built some additions and started the 
Burt House about 1856, and Ziba Dorwin 
himself, who is spoken of as one of the pio- 
neer tavern-keepers. It is said that he was 
a medium-sized man, with a very bushy head 
of white hair — he was sixty years old in 
1S50. The Ayres and Daily taverns were 
further east on the Piqua road. On the 
Fort Recovery and Pluntington road were 
but two or three taverns of especial note. 
The one was Plum's tavern, on the north 
bank of the Limberlost creek at Alexander, 
and the taverns of Joshua Johntry, at what 
is now Buena Vista, and the George French 
tavern, three or four miles further down the 
river. All these taverns kept whisky at 
about three drinks for a dime, or twenty 
cents a gallon. At that time liquors were 
pure and free from adulterations that create 
a thirst for more, and there was very little 
drunkenness throughout the country. As 
the lowland was infested by many snakes, 
large and small, it was a very common thing 
to keep a little spirits on hand for "snake 
bites" and "stomach trouble," which were 
the only dreadful things that the early settler 
made especial preparation for. 


The long distances from mills, high water slow, was a great relief when 

and bad roads made the pioneer settler's ex- the water was plenty. Now a small 

istence at times a burden. Yet the tin hand- gas engine would grind more in a few hours 

grater or ox mill were reliable and were than did the most speedy little water mill in 

often used; the little water mill, though a day. But they were the best that could be 



gotten and were a great convenience. The 
first mills that supplied the early residents 
ui the county were located at Richmond, 
Willshire, Ohio, and Rudsils and Muldoon's 
mills in Allen county. From the history of 
Van Wert county we take the following in- 
cident in relation to the erection of the first 
mill north of Dayton, which was built in 
1822 at the present town of Willshire. Ohio : 
"Captain James W. Riley settled at Will- 
shire in January, 182 1, and in that year built 
a cabin residence on the east bank of the 
Saint Mary's river. Within the same year 
timber was cut and prepared for the erection 
of a' mill. All of the nails, bolts and iron 
work, as well as the mill stones, were hauled 
from Dayton, Ohio; some of the wagons 
were drawn by four yokes of oxen. When 
all was ready invitations were sent out to 
Fort Wayne, Saint Mary's and Fort Recov- 
ery for help to raise the mill. Great prepa- 
rations were made for their entertainment 
by the hunters, to whom were delegated the 
work of supplying the meats. Plenty of wild 
honey, maple sugar and molasses— not omit- 
ting a supply of egg-nog and whisky, with- 
out which no frontier crowd could be gotten 
together. On. the appointed day there were 
people in attendance from Fort Wayne, Fort 
Recovery, Saint Mary's and Piqua, Ohio, to 
the number of about fifty, 'besides the mill- 
wrights and Purveyors. A good many who 
came were not used to raising such heavy- 
buildings. Some of the bents were up when 
one got the start of the pike men and came 
to the ground with a crash. It was at once 
agreed to suspend all proceedings until to- 
morrow. Puncheon tables had been pro- 
vided with benches for seats and an abund- 
ance of provisions to supply the tables. 
W ooden plates and tincups met all the re- 

quirements of the table. After supper it was 
decided to have a dance by torchlight. Hick- 
ory bark was collected and soon bright blaz- 
ing fagots made the scene a merry one. A 
fiddler by the name of Freshour, from near 
Fort Recovery, played the fiddle. As there 
were no girls or women to engage in the 
dance, men wore handkerchiefs over their 
heads as "ladies." The dances were Scotch 
reels, Irish jigs, Old Virginia reels and "hoe 
downs." The dancers' actions were accel- 
erated by frequent tincups of egg-nog. One 
man named James Corbus, a surveyor, who 
complained of rheumatism, sprang to his 
feet and danced a jig. They then called him 
''Limber Jim." (He was subsequently lost 
in south of Alexander oil what is now 
known as Limberlost creek, near old Buf- 
falo.) The Riley mill was a water mill and 
was put in operation in 1823. Bond's mill, 
on the Salamonie, at Pennville, and Depler's 
mill, later Muldoon's, between Decatur and 
Fort Wayne, were each built about 1840. 
Perhaps the first grist mill put in operation 
in Adams county was the Godard mill on the 
west side of the river at what was later 
Pleasant Mills. It dates from 183S and was 
a water mill. The next grist mill and sub- 
sequently the first steam grist mill in the 
county, was the Jacob Barks mill, a water 
mill in 1S40, but later, in perhaps 1848, sold 
to Calvin D. Hart and converted into a 
steam grist mill. It was subsequently de- 
stroyed by fire. In about the year 1865 God- 
ard & Heath changed the machinery from 
their grist mill at Pleasant Mills and en- 
larged the capacity, used the former building 
for turning lathes and subsequently put in a 
woolen mill, which was discontinued about 
1873. The Godard grist mill has been in 
operation nearly continuously since its erec- 

9 2 


tion, but has at various times been over- 
hauled, and new machinery has taken the 
place of the old ; is now the property of J. 
C. Cowan and W. J. Smith. The Barks mill, 
or the Hart mill, as it was later called, was 
destroyed by fire along in the sixties. It 
stood on Number's creek, insection 2S, Root 
township. In 1857 Emanuel Neaderhouser 
biult the first grist mill in southern Adams 
county. It was located at the present town 
of Buena Vista and was successfully oper- 
ated as a water mill for about twenty years. 
Then steam power took the place of water 
power. In 1894 the mill was remodeled and 
overhauled by Neaderhouser & Kizer and 
called the Hoosier Mills and changed to a 
modern roller mill. The second steam grist 
mill in the county was the first "Fornax'' 
mill, built in Decatur, near where the Place 
ice cream factory is located, along the Saint 
Mary's river. This mill was built in 1852 
by Samuel L. Rugg and was operated for 
about fifteen years and had a distillery at- 
tached for a year or two and was abandoned 
for the "New Fornax" mill that was erected 
about 1868 by Emanuel "Woods, John Rout 
and Thomas Mickle. This mill was subse- 
quently owned by H. H. Bremerkamp and 
was burned down in 1905. Its place has 
been filled by the erection of a new and mod- 
ern roller mill by the last owner of the New 
Fornax. The first steam grist mill in the 
southern part of the county was erected at 
Ceylon in 1S73 by Dr. B. B. Snow; was 
successfully operated for several years, sold 
and removed to Portland by its owners, D. 
L. Proper and S. H. Adams. The first grist 
mill in the north part of Decatur, now owned 
-J by Charles Heckman, was a water mill built 
in 1S43 by Rudolph Schearer and Fred Ger- 
key. It lias been remodeled from time to 

time and was changed from water to steam 
power more than thirty years ago ; is now 
a large roller mill, doing a good business. 
Some other grist mills in Decatur were the 
"City mills," built by Jacob S. Hart, and 
operated for ten or twelve years on Monroe 
street, near Seventh, and was destroyed by 
fire in 1896. The "Oak roller mills," put in 
operation by Anson Vancamp in 1895, is do- 
ing an extensive business on First near Mad- 
ison street. In 1884 the "Hoosier roller 
mills," of Berne, were started; it ran suc- 
cessfully for five or six years and was de- 
stroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. The 
"White Loaf mills," at Berne, was built in 
1889 and is still in successful operation. In 
1891 Emanuel Woods & Co. built the mill 
now owned and operated by the Geneva Mill- 
ing Company. This mill has changed hands 
a number of times, but has kept up with the 
demands of the times by installing new and 
modem machinery as new processes were 
introduced in the milling business. Besides 
the steam mills now in use there were corn 
and feed mills in various parts of the county 
that were largely patronized by the earlier 
settlers. William Lewis and Fred Gerkey, 
in Root township, each had corn mills that 
were operated by horse power. Lewis's mill 
was in Monmouth and stood near where 
Wilder's brick residence is located. Ger- 
key 's mill was located in the southeast cor- 
ner of section 2, in Root township. George 
French, in section 33, French township, had 
a corn-grinding horse-power mill; also built 
a water grist mill, but when the race was 
begun found that the ledge of limestone 
came so near the top of the ground that he 
could not get down for the race to supply 
the water. It is said that the mill was taken 
down and removed at the cost of nearly two 



thousand dollars to the owner. Jacob 
dinger, in section 36, in Wabash township, 
. perated a horse-power corn grinder for a 
time and Tilmon Rawley, of section 1, in 
the same township, erected and operated a 
hnrse-power mill with a fanning mill and 
"threshing floor" attachment. At this mill 
the fanner could bring his buckwheat or 
other grain in the sheaf, tramp it out, use the 
fanning mill to separate the chaff from the 
grain, have the grain ground and return 
home ready for the bran-new buckwheat 
cakes to be made from his grinding. At that 
time grain was all flailed out, or threshed by 
tramping by cattle or horses. It was not un- 
til 1 85 1 that there was steam power used in 
any of the mills in the county. There were 
several small water mills that did some saw- 
ing and a few of them had corn and buck- 
wheat buhrs. These had "up-and-down" 
saws, and were called "muley" mills. Among 
this kind of mills we find the James Niblick 
mill, the Aaron Chapman mill, each of 
which was built on Numbers creek, in sec- 
tions 28 and 33, in Root township ; the Ap- 
pleman mill, in section 5, in Washington 
township; William Conrad's mill, in section 
10, Preble township; the Robert Evans mill, 
on Evans creek, section 20, Root township; 
the Reuben Lord mill, on Seventeen-Mile 
creek, section 22, Root township; the J. A. 
Fonner mill, on Seventeen-Mile creek, sec- 
tion 21, Root township; the Christian Burg- 
halter mill, on Dismal creek, section 20, Wa- 
bash township; the Jacob Baker mill, on 
Canoper creek, in section 15, in Wabash 
township; the E. A. Goddard mill, on east 
side of Saint Mary's river, at Pleasant Mills ; 
die Rudolf Scherer's mill at the present site 
of Patterson & Pillar's mill ; the James Mc- 
Dowel mill that preceded the first Neader- 

houser bill at Buena Vista. Besides these 
water saw and corn-grinding mills there 
were two carding or woolen mills that were 
operated by water power; one, the Jones 
mill, in section 36, Wabash tonship, and the 
Goddard & Heath mill at Pleasant Mills. 
Later there were two woolen mills operated 
in Decatur; the one by August Albers, on 
North Second street, near Jackson, and the 
other on Front street and Jefferson, by the 
Myers brothers — William J. and David. 
Among the early steam saw mills we find 
that Samuel L. Rugg in 1851 located the 
first steam saw mill in southeast Decatur, 
just north of the present Scheimann & Co. 
packing house. That the first steam circu- 
lar saw mill was brought to the county by 
Sylvester Campbell, of section 16, in Blue 
Creek township. That in 1852 John R. 
Burdge built the first steam saw mill in the 
south part of the county. This mill was 
within a few years removed to Alexander, 
where it was operated until 186S, and was 
blown up while the property of Ransom 

The first and perhaps the only large band- 
saw mill was built in west Decatur in 18S3 
by Perry Robison and Amos Gillie, was de- 
stroyed by fire in 1890. Some other large 
steam saw mills for their time were: Wil- 
liam Dehl mill, in section 33, in Kirkland 
township. This mill was built in 1S56; the 
machinery was hauled from Dayton, Ohio, 
by ox teams. It is said that Mr. Dehl fur- 
nished a number of the residents of Decatur 
with poplar lumber with which to weather- 
board their first set of buildings here at the 
sum of five dollars a thousand, delivered. 
Another heavy mill of considerable interest 
in the early period of the county was the 
Buuck & Hockmier mill, in section 10, in 



Preble township. This mill was a muley 
and was built about 1856, and furnished 
• some of the lumber for the first frame build- 
ings in Decatur. The first circular saw mill 
in the south part of the county was built at 
Buena Vista in 1867 by Emanuel Neader- 
houser. This mill has quite a history that 
will be related further on in this description. 
The next steam circular saw mill was lo- 
cated at Alexander in 1868 by Aaron Brown 
and George Wilson. It rafted some of its 
lumber down the Limberlost and Wabash 
river to Eluffton market. 

After the Grand Rapids & Indiana Rail- 
Toad was built through the county there were 
many mills put in operation. It is said that 
Michael Kroner, of Jefferson township, 
brought in the first portable saw mill. Some 
of the larger heavy mills at that day were 
the Colgrove & Miller mill in the north part 
of the county and the B. B. Snow mill on the 
Wabash east of Ceylon and subsequently re- 
moved to the railroad at Ceylon. This mill 
was built in 1870 and had a capacity of fifty 
thousand feet of lumber a week. It fur- 
nished over ten miles of the railroad bridge 
timber for the new railroad, besides many 
thousands of railroad ties and other timbers. 
Some of the ether mills that operated suc- 
cussfully throughout the county were the 
mills of Vincent D. Bell, of French town- 
ship; C. W. Hooker, of Monroe township; 
J. R. Hockenbcry, of Jefferson township; 
Hamel & Barnhart. of Blue Creek township; 
David Worling, of Preble township; Woods 
& Winnes, of Washington township; Colter 
'& Smith, of Knot and Saint Mary's 
townships: Eicher & Co.. Saint 
Mary's township: Fruchte & Peck, in 
Preble township. At present the small port- 
able mills are finishing up what is left of the 

once magnificent forests of oak, ash, poplar 
and walnut timber. The only mills of much 
capacity now ready for operation are the 
Adams County Lumber Company's mills at 
Berne and Decatur. Much of their timber 
is hauled long distances or shipped in by 
railroad for use. The early mills were not 
without their casualties, both serious and 
humorous. The Neaderhouser saw mill at 
Buena Vista was the first steam circular saw 
mill in the southern part of the county. Not 
like some others in the county, its start was 
of the hair-raising variety, and of the most 
dangerous kind. The mill building was a 
two-story frame, with the saws and car- 
riages on the second floor. Before the saw- 
ing had proceeded far the machinery became 
unmanageable and in gigging back the log 
carriage was shot with terrific force out of 
the upper story of the mill; the engine ran 
off, burst the fifteen-hundred-pound balance 
wheel in a thousand pieces, which flew 
through the roof of the engine house like 
grapeshot from a cannon. The building was 
completely shattered, but fortunately no one 
was seriously hurt. The mill was repaired 
and until recently was operated in the manu- 
facture of lumber. Hammil's mill in north- 
ern Blue Creek township burst its large 
belt wheel and severely injured several men. 
It was what then was known as a "direct 
action" and the engine fairly flew. Such 
occurrences would naturally make an im- 
pression on those who had never heard a 
steam whistle — and until 1872 they were 
scarce in Adams county. An incident is re- 
lated by Martin V. B. Simcoke, usually 
known as "Van Simcoke," as to the fun and 
excitement gotten out of starting the first 
steam saw mill in Decatur in 1851. He tells 
us that : "The first steam works in Adams 



county was a steam saw mill, brought to De- 
catur by Samuel L. Rugg, the founder of 
Decatur, to saw planks for the plank road to 
be built from Fort Wayne to Saint Mary's, 
Ohio, through Decatur. The mill was lo- 
cated on the Saint Mary's river southeast of 
[lie court house, where Si Hamel's mill is lo- 
cated, and near the C. & E. Railroad bridge. 
There was one Johnson, a millwright by 
trade, came along to finish the mill, and he 
lold the people of the many accidents and 
blow-ups which were caused by steam power 
that caused all the people to fear the busi- 
ness. The children were all warned to keep 
away. There were no visitors to bother the 
workmen on account of the danger. At last 
the mill was ready to start up ; the log yard 
was jammed full of fine oak logs ; the build- 
ing was up and all the steam works to their 
proper places. Mr. Rugg concluded to have 
a jubilee and invited the people far and near 
to come and witness the greatest curiosity of 
their lives, assuring the people of no 

The day arrived and with it the people 
from afar. They came in every conceivable 
way to get there. The building was a large 
two-story frame, with four by four girders 
around the entire building about four feet 
from the ground. The siding was not nailed 
on yet, consequently the girders were fine 
seats for men .and boys, which were filled all 
around. Ladies and gentlemen with their 
children and the elderly people occupied the 

log yard, as they feared to venture close. 
Everybody awaited anxiously to see the 
thing go. Steam was up, fizzing and fret- 
ting; occasionally the engineer would touch 
a small steam gauge, when there would be a 
scream from some woman, perhaps a dozen 
or more. A thought struck the engineer that 
there was fun ahead and he took the poker 
and raised the safety valve and let her off. 
There never was such a stampede in our 
time as was exhibited there. Women fainted 
and some screamed, ran and fell over every- 
thing. Men did not wait to see if anybody 
was killed. The girders were empty in a 
jiffy. Clothing was left upon the stumps, 
logs and bushes. Horses ran away, causing 
havoc among the natives. All I can remem- 
ber of it was that infernal blast. I found 
myself about two hundred yards from the 
blow-off and seeing old man Elefritz whiz 
past me like a meteor and likely he is run- 
ning yet. I had crossed a creek near by and 
after I came to I was a walking mud boy. 
One Hobart Scott, a young man then, 
jumped into the river and dived down and 
across the river, a dozen following. My 
mother tore her fine 'calico dress in fragments 
getting away, and father lost his fine plug 
hat. At intervals the engineer would cause 
a blast from the cussed thing. There was 
not a female soul within a half mile of it. 
People talked of killing the engineer, but 
better heads persuaded the people to drop it, 
as he meant onlv fun." 


The early settlers cared less for an exhi- make the fleetest time, the boy or man who 
bition of fine cattle, fat hogs, high-priced could run the fastest or jump the farthest. 
sheep than they did for the horse that could As a result the women and girls were horse- 

9 6 


women and could drive and ride as well as 
their brothers or fathers. The horse race, 
the foot race, the wrestling match and jump- 
ing contest were much in favor and became 
a feature of even - meeting. Though in its 
infancy as a civil corporation, its communi- 
ties upheld their codes of "honor" even to 
the exclusion from their "crowd" such as 
would disregard the accepted regulations of 
the neighborhood. The fellow who would 
take a "dare" to attempt some feat of 
strength as a wrestle, a race or a fight was 
soon marked for retirement. 

To make the attempt and lose was no en- 
during disgrace, but the defeated stood next 
in favor to the winner. To be called a liar 
or some other names on that line and not 
resent it or fight was to merit the disgrace 
of all who knew of the occurrence. Any one 
was then at liberty to bespatter the unfortu- 
nate with derision, vulgarity and abuse if he 
wished, for then cowards had no standing in 
the "court" of public sentiment. The enter- 
tainments were varied in their nature; the 
wood chopping or com husking, with a 
dance at night ; the quilting party or wool 
picking or later the apple cutting and the 
sugar stirring, were very common forms of 
entertainment for the first residents of the 
county. Religious services were held at 
private houses, as were also singing schools, 
in which the younger members of the com- 
munity would ride miles on horseback to at- 
tend. Now the young man may drive to 
church or singing school in his buggy ; then 
he took his best girl on the horse behind him 
and both rode the same horse. In those days 
the girls seemed to have a better hold on 
their fellows than at the present time. Per- 
haps because they were both going the same 
way at the same time. As schoolhouses 

were erected they were used for church, 
singing school and most other public gather- 
ings ; these were attended by old and young 
alike. The spelling match and debates were 
much in favor. Sled-loads would drive for 
miles to meet competing localities in discus- 
sion or to contest the "grounds" in who 
could spell the longest and the most difficult 
words. The whole neighborhood would be 
interested in the result and in some instances 
a "licking" match or series of fights would 
end the contest. Particularly this was true 
in regard to the outcome of debates. Some 
of the subjects of discussion such as, "Is 
Sprinkling Baptism"? "Have Niggers Souls 
to Save"? and "Is a Country Boy Greener 
in Town Than a Town Girl Is in the Coun- 
try?" have been decided by a majority of the 
judges in the house — one way — and outside 
of the house in another. As the farmers be- 
gan to have better advantages for exhibition 
of their products the public fair idea 
gained some favor. The first fairs 
were under criticism by those who had no 
new breed of stock or fancy vegetables to 
exhibit, but many of them went anyhow just 
to see the others "show off" or out of a spirit 
of curiosity. The first county fair of any 
consequence was held at Decatur in 1S53. 
It was held in what is now courthouse 
square. The stalls and pens were around 
the lot and the vegetables, fancy work, etc., 
were placed inside the old courthouse, to 
which an admission fee of two shillings was 
charged. At that time there was an effort 
made to introduce a better grade of cattle 
and hogs than the then common woods stock 
known as "elm-peeler hogs" and "penny- 
royal cattle." Some of the early dealers in 
Durham cattle, Magee hogs and Merino 
sheep were josiah and John Crawford in 

i m 

i* 1 ' 4 i/jfj : ■ -- • r- 

■ ■■ ■ 

i v : 

f **M 

1 ■ __ . ,— - 


_ 5 1 I h 

I : 




BURT HOUSE (Destroyed by fire December 26, 1906). 



cattle; Semour Worden, John McConnell, 
William Aspy, Pendleton Rice, Lot French 
and some others were interested in improved 
stocks of hogs. Morgan Smith, Tilmon 
Rawley and the Daileys, of which there were 
several, in a better grade of sheep. Lewis 
Mattax, P. N. Collins and Samuel Steele 
were especially interested in orchard prod- 
ucts. Through the efforts of those most 
interested the first Adams County Agricul- 
tural Society was organized under the re- 
cent state law that placed the society under 
the indirect control of the state board of ag- 
riculure. The Adams County Agricultural 
Society was organized at Decatur on the 
28th day of December, 1852, with the fol- 
lowing named board of directors and offi- 
cers : Lewis Mattix, Lot French, C. S. Dor- 
win, Samuel Steele, Josiah Crawford, Jo- 
sephus Martin, Richard Winans, Andrew 
Scoles, Joseph Crabbs, David Erwin, Abra- 
ham Sommers, Thomas Luffborrow. 

The executive officers chosen by the board 
of directors were : Samuel S. Mickle, presi- 
dent ; George A. Dent, vice president ; David 
Studabaker, secretary; John McConnell, 
treasurer; William G. Spencer, librarian. 

For the first year's expenses the members 
of the association each contributed a fee of 
one dollar. This entitled the association to 
make a requisition on the county treasurer 
for a like amount if it was then in his hands 
as license fees collected from traveling cir- 
cuses and like shows. The numbers and in- 
terest increased for four or five years. Then 
the Civil war excitement and other influ- 
ences reduced the interest and the county 
fairs were discontinued altogether, until 
1875. at which time the twenty-acre tract in 
the southeast part of Decatur was leased by 
the county commissioners for a period of 

years to Emanuel Woods and others, who 
built a race track, fenced the grounds, put 
down a driven well and erected the necessary 
buildings to conduct a county fair. At the 
time of the first fair the public square had a 
jail and sheriff's residence on the southwest 
corner, a one-story brick building sixteen by 
thirty-two feet in size, in the southeast cor- 
ner, which was used as the county auditor's 
and treasurer's offices ; in the northeast cor- 
ner, where the '"Whittier's Barefoot Boy" 
fountain stands, stood a brick building simi- 
lar to the one at the southeast corner, which 
was used as the county clerk's and recorder's 
offices. The old courthouse, which was a 
two-story frame, the lower story all in one 
room, stood west of the public square on in- 
lots 93 and 94, at the corner of Third and 
Madison streets. The cattle and some other 
stock were exhibited in the public square, 
which then was inclosed by an ordinary 
board fence to keep the cows of the town 
from browsing in the gardens of the county 
officers. One feature cf the stock exhibit 
was very unusual for that day in this local- 
ity. It was a Magee hog that is said to have 
weighed seven hundred pounds, and was ex- 
hibited by William Aspy, then a resident of 
Wabash township.. One man in his descrip- 
tion of this hog said that it was as big as his 
cow and as long as a fence rail. 

In the spring of 1875 an Adams County 
Agricultural Association was organized with 
Emanuel Woods president, John W. Rout 
secretary and Daniel Wekly as treasurer, 
and John Rupright, Henry Fuelling, A. J. 
Teeple, Timothy Coffee and Richard Win- 
ans as directors. The twenty-acre tract in 
southeast Decatur, known as "the old fair 
grounds," was leased by the association and 
Emanuel Woods given the contract to re- 



move the brush and timber, put down a 
driven well, build a half-mile race track, 
properly fence the grounds and put up the 
necessary buildings for a county fair to be 
held. In September of the same year the 
first fair was held on those grounds. The 
succeeding fairs for four or five years were 
well patronized, but dissensions arose in the 
management and the control was turned 
over to some non-residents, who had a cir- 
cuit of fairs and a string of race horses that 
were credited as being "stake sweepers," and 
the residents somewhat lost interest in the 
other features of what is required to make 
a successful exhibit of the county's re- 
sources. About 18S9 the last fair was held 
in the old fair grounds. Since that time the 
county commissioners have rented this 
ground as a pasture field. In the spring of 
1900 the Decatur Driving Association was 
organized for the purpose of encouraging 
the fanciers of trotting, pacing and running 
horses to attend the Decatur races. Grounds 
were leased at what is now Steele's Park, a 
race track made and some suitable buildings 
erected for stabling horses. In October of 
the next year a three days' horse fair was 
held at the park. It was successful beyond 
the expectations of its managers. The next 
effort toward the organization of an agri- 
cultural society in Adams county was at the 
meeting of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit As- 
sociation in Monroe on the 23d day of Oc- 
tober, 1901. At this meeting a committee 
consisting of Jonathan Fleming, George W. 
Gladden and Lemuel Headington was ap- 
pointed to draft articles of association and 
report the same at the next November meet- 
ing. The committee in its report suggested 
that family tickets be sold and donations be 
solicited to secure the funds necessary to 

erect the suitable buildings for a county fair. 
That the county commissioners be petitioned 
to sell the old fair ground and the funds be 
appropriated toward the erection of build- 
ings upon grounds that may be leased for 
the purpose of holding a series of fairs. The 
action of the commissioners was adverse to 
the sale of the old fair grounds and it was 
agreed by the promoters of the fair project 
that coupon ballots be sent out with the De- 
catur Democrat, then published by Norval 
Blackburn, and a vote be expressed as to the 
selection of officers of a fair to be held at 
Decatur the next year. In this balloting 
contest there were four hundred and fifty- 
six ballots sent in and the following named 
persons were chosen to fill the various offices : 
For directors: Frank Berger, Frank Gid- 
eon, Lewis Fruchte, Joshua Bright, Michael 
Miller, George Tricker, David Dailey, J. S. 
Beatty, Peter Ashbaucher, Jonas Neuen- 
schwander, L. O. Bears, Martin M. Herr 
and Peter Kinney. In July, 1903, Willard 
Steele made a proposition to the directors of 
the Adams County Fair Association to lease 
them his one-hundred-and-fifteen-acre farm 
just east of the city for the use of a county 
fair; that under certain conditions he 
would erect all of .the necessary buildings to 
conduct the same. In September, 1903, "The 4 
Farmers' Fair" was held near Steele, in Blue 
Creek township. In 1904 the Farmers' Fair 
was again conducted as the year before and 
met with good patronage. In June of 1904 
the horse fair, or Adams County Horse- 
men's Association, was organized with the 
following named directors : 

Willard Steele, Henry Kohn, Davis 
Dailey, August Bly, Sampson Pillars, 
James Bell, V. D. Bell, George W. Martz, 
J. H. Beatty, Calvin Teeters, M. L. Smith, 



Dan Beery, David Eckrote, John S. Peter- 
son, S. W. Hale and J. B. Rice. The pur- 
pose of this association, as stated in their by- 
laws, was to encourage the breeding, train- 
ing and use of trotting, pacing and running 
horses. Its executive officers were Abe A. 
Boch, president; Elmer Johnson, secretary; 
Dr. J. M. Miller, treasurer; board of man- 
agers: J. B. Rice, S. W. Hale, Willard 
Steele, Dan Beery, J. S. Peterson. Through- 
out the summer and fall of 1904 and 1905 
the association had races at stated times with 
good interest and attendance. In the fall of 
190.0 the directors of the Adams County 
Fair Association met at Decatur and elected 
officers for the ensuing year and considered 
favorably the proposition of Willard Steele 
to lease his farm for fair purposes, erection 
of buildings, etc., for the use of the asso- 
ciation. The officers then chosen were: 
George H. Martz, president; Andrew Gotts- 
chalk, vice president; Charles True, treas- 
urer, and Henry Krick, secretary. It was 
agreed at this meeting that if sufficient do- 
nations by subscription could be secured that 
Mr. Steele's proposition be accepted. Com- 
mittees were appointed and directed to re- 
port at the next county farmers' institute, 
which convened near the end of the year. 
The reports were so encouraging that ar- 
rangements were begun and the time set for 
the first county fair to be held at Steele's 
Park, as it was then named. The first fair 
was held in the fall of 1901, though the 
buildings were insufficient and some of them 
unfinished. This fair was well attended and 
gave general satisfaction. At the next meet- 
ing of the board of directors there was a 
change of officers. In 1902 the officers were 
Geor-e Tricker, president; Martin L. Smith. 
vice president ; Thomas H. Harris, secretary, 

and Rudolph R. Schugg was chosen treas- 
urer. All of these officers served two years. 
This year the name of the association was 
changed to the "Great Northern Indiana 
Fair," and is so called at this time. In 1904 
the officers selected were John D. Neidling- 
er, president; William Farlow, vice presi- 
dent; John Brown, treasurer, and Cal 
D. Kunkle as secretary. These officers 
served until 1906, at which time the pres- 
ent officers were chosen. The executive 
officers are: George Tricker, president; 
Martin L. Smith, vice president; John 
Brown, treasurer, and Cal D. Kunkle, secre- 
tary. The following are the directors serv- 
ing in 1907 : Thomas S. Perkins, J. B. Cor- 
son, John P. Steiner, William Farlow, 
James M. Duff, J. R. Graber, Louis Fruchte, 
Michael Miller, Malcom A. Ripley, Sylves- 
ter Pontius, W. T. Waggoner, J. W. Brod- 
beck, J. D. Neidlinger, Philip Baker and 
Simeon J. Bowers. Within the last few 
years Steele's Park has been much improved 
and beautified with drives, flowers, artificial 
lake of several acres. It now has city water, 
electric lights, graveled drives through the 
groves and a good race track. Aside from 
the county fairs the poultry loving people 
have held three fairs- in Decatur within the 
last three years. The first in the Wooward 
& Ball vacated furniture store room on Sec- 
ond street; the next in the Morrison build- 
ing at Court and Second streets, and the 
third and last one on the 8th, 9th. TOth and 
1 ith days of January, 1907, in Meiber's Hall 
on Second street. "The Adams County 
Poultry and Pet Stock Association" was or- 
ganized in December, 1904. The executive 
officers of this association in 1907 are : W. 
A. Fonner, president: Charles E. Magley. 
secretary; Mrs. Fannie Christen, treasurer. 



At these shows a small entrance fee is 
charged and all the fowls are scored by a 
non-resident judge, who makes the awards, 
not knowing to whom the birds belong. The 
management has awarded prizes for certain 
exhibits and a lively interest has been shown 
in all these fairs so far held. 

Perhaps one of the most beneficial and in- 
structive meetings held in the interest of the 
agricultural element of the county are the 
farmers' institutes. These have been con- 
ducted annually for the last ten years. The 
system of management provides for an able 
non-resident instructor, who works from an 
outline program, showing the subjects upon 
which instruction is given. Queries and 
questions submitted by the members of the 
institute raise many questions of interest to 
the farmer. Aside from the work of the 
special instructor, local talent is expected to 
assist in discussion of subjects under con- 
sideration. Recitations, essays and address- 
es are also announced and given as a part of 
the program. The interest and attendance 
at these meetings have steadily increased 
from year to year. The large courtroom in 
Decatur, that once was rarely filled in front 
at these institutes, is now hardly sufficiently 
large to accommodate the audiences. Among 
the numerous exercises and addresses given 
at these meetings from time to time we here 
refer you to one entitled, "Nature's Noble- 
man," delivered by the author hereof, J. F. 
Snow, at the meeting December 2, 1903, in 
Decatur : 

"Friends and Farmers — Can we ever for- 
get that inviting country residence in sum- 
mer? How many successful business men 
of today can testify to the happiest time of 
their lives in the country at the old home- 
stead? What a fund of satisfaction in the 

memory of that rustic simplicity, that pic- 
turesque scenery of natural grandeur, which 
surrounds the country home. Friends, it 
was my good fortune to enjoy the freedom 
of a country home in my youtth. It was 
there in the stern school of experience that I 
learned to know that the progressive work- 
man must each day give some good account 
of himself. That the honest toiler is worthy 
of his hire, and that by his skill and industry 
this beautiful land of protected freedom is 
made to blossom as the rose in her season ; 
that by his incessant labor the lands have 
been cleared and drained; that from his 
fields and flocks cities are fed and clothed; 
that without the farmer no nation can long 
exist in complete thrift and contentment. As 
a crumbling monument of feudal ages in 
Europe we learn of social rank and titled 
people, known as dukes and dudes and lords 
and earls. A few of them have been in- 
duced to come to free American soil long 
enough to bargain for some millionaire's 
'left-over' daughter with a million for boot 
money thrown in. In this vast, fertile re- 
gion we have but one special nobleman, and 
he that honest workman who is willing to 
labor with brain and brawn at what his 
hands findcth to do in earnest, honest effort 
to improve his condition and add to his na- 
tion's honor and power. He isn't afraid of 
work in time of peace, nor is he afraid of 
war when fighters are wanted in the defense 
of his country's honor. He is a jolly, jovial 
gentleman at home and a useful factor in a 
nation's councils. The finest and fleetest 
horses are bred in the country, so are the 
nation's most sturdy sons. While Europe 
may croak and boast of her noblemen, titles 
and all, we can with pride point to Nature's 
nobleman — the American farmer — who 



feeds them all. In all the walks of human 
endeavor there are none in which successful 
effort is so general as among the fanners. 
The professions are abandoned for the farm ; 
the mechanic quits his trade and returns to 
the quiet home on the farm. The merchant, 
the financier or the statesman all want a 
home in the country. Fewer failures occur 
among farmers than other lines of employ- 
ment of men. Fewer defalcations and no 
twenty cents on the dollar values in stock. 

The farmer owns what he has and pays 
taxes on what he owns. It would appear 
that the farmer might be nearer a master of 
the situation than he now appears to be. Too 
often when he has a bounteous crop the 
prices are low. He is answered that, 'over 
production' is the cause of low prices. Is it 
not a truth that over production cannot ex- 
ist when human beings, somewhere in the 
world, are starving and dying for food or 
clothing? A few years ago land was low in 
price. Was there an over production ? All 
sociologists will agree that when the farmer 
is the most prosperous then all the industries 
flourish most. When the farmer has an 
abundance to sell at good prices then he has 
means with which to buy lumber for his 
buildings; wire for his fences, and tiling. for 
his farm lands. The farmer of today is not 
exactly the farmer of twenty years ago. If 
he was lie would show no signs of advance- 
ment. The annual institutes furnish much 
available theory for experiment to the pro- 
gressive element of farmers. An oppor- 
tunity is given for the interchange of ideas 
as to the various methods of economy in ex- 
penditure of effort and of cash in the labori- 
ous work of farming. The farmer who 
would make the most of stock- and crops 
must be ever on the alert ; keep an eye to the 

markets as to where and when the highest 
prices are paid for what he lias for sale and 
where the lowest prices are asked for what 
he has to buy. A few dollars saved is justly 
earned. Note the profits on a single acre of 
the different varieties of grain, or the results 
of a certain strain of stock, for the money 
invested. Many points in farm industry are 
points of dispute, as men may honestly dif- 
fer in opinion as to what breed of hogs will 
soonest turn the ready dollar ; or one woman 
may cling to her Plymouth Rock in a vain 
effort to have them outdo the Rhode Island 
Reds or the Leghorns of her neighbors. In 
the fanners' meetings various theories have 
been and will be discussed by the progressive 
fanner, much not only to his own advantage, 
but to the advantage of his less fortunate 
brother. In every craft and guild there are 
those who lead and those who follow by im- 
itation. The practical application of theory 
is results. The follower of the successful 
workman will help make general a different 
system of farming and a better grade of 
stock on the farm lands. There are now a 
large number of the farming community 
who no longer are satisfied with a 'pretty 
good' breed of cattle, such as were bred 
some time ago throughout the west, but they 
are now determined to have the best breeds 
that any market can supply. Why, as the 
story goes, some large farmers a few years 
ago would have had the palpitation of the 
knees to think of paying two thousand dol- 
lars for a Belgian horse or fifty dollars for a 
blooded rooster. Such sales are an every- 
day occurrence now. The old 'apple tree' 
hens that could run like partridges and fly 
to the highest limb on the tree were a good 
chicken perhaps, but were not the very best 
chicken for the fanner to raise, for either 



the market or results to the crops over which 
they ranged. Now the poultry men or poul- 
try women, perhaps one might say, wants 
the very best chicken that brains and money 
can procure. And they have them, too. 
We are told that the poultry farms today 
pay their owners a better per cent, on the 
cash and labor invested than the corn and 
hog farms of the central states. The egg 
crop of the United States, in a single year, 
amounts to more cash, when put upon the 
market, than the gold mined in the limits of 
this vast country within a like period of time. 
The Hoosier hens the past year have pre- 
pared over six hundred million of eggs for 
the market and sat around a good part of the 
time at that. This great agricultural dis- 
trict, between the lakes at the north and the 
Ohio river at the south, has undergone great 
development in the last quarter of a century. 
The question now is, 'What will the Hoosier 
do next' ? There can be but one solution of 
the question. He will go onward and for- 
ward in his each and ever}' line of develop- 
ment till this little state, that is but the one- 
seventh the size of Texas, or the one-third 
the age of Massachusetts, will be the Mecca 
of all that merits mention in effort or scien- 
tific development. For some time past the 
center of population has been in the Wabash 
valley. Today Indiana has nearly two- 
thirds as many people as had the original 
'Thirteen Colonies' when they won their in- 
dependence; and now Indiana annually pro- 
duces more grain than did all those colonies 
combined. She expends large sums annual- 
ly for public improvements and is now be- 
coming a network of electric roads and 
steam thoroughfares, carrying the products 
of all the west and east. To see a practical 
illustration of what progress has done for 

the farmer one has but to step upon the 
streets of one of our cities. The daily mar- 
kets show the thrift and prosperity of the 
farming class of people. Every wagon brings 
something to market. The farmer himself 
shows indication of having spent some of 
the proceeds of his labors in farm products 
on his equipment. Has it ever occurred to 
you tint under the same Heaven's azure 
dome, under the same golden sunshine, not 
a thousand miles from here, are tillers of the 
soil who show no signs of thrift? Who are 
satisfied to let old Father Time push them 
along as necessity may demand from day to 
day? They are not Hoosiers, nor do they 
take any interest in the Hoosier state. Thrice 
abundantly blest is he who is in a land of 
plenty, with energy and industry humming 
on every side. Thrice is that family fortu- 
nate whose fireside is adorned with the con- 
veniences and comforts of a civilized land; 
a home where art, literature and music may 
find a place. In some old noted records we 
are told that many years ago the children of 
Israel, while perhaps in bondage, built the 
Pyramids of Egypt. There, on the desert 
waste, those pyramids stand today, not as 
emblems, of thrift, freedom and perpetual 
prosperity of a people, but as an everlasting 
monument of tears, suffering and sorrow of 
what was once God's chosen people. They 
stand as an emblem of the forced labor of an 
enslaved people; a people debased in the 
sight of the world, as hewers of stone and 
drawers of water, without wages or hire. 
The monuments of American enterprises are 
not the enslavement of her people, but the 
subjugation of her natural forces, which 
contribute to the world's welfare, comfort 
and happiness. It was a Ben Franklin, on 
American soil, that drew the lightning from 



the clouds and harnessed it for the use of 
mankind. Today the electric spark does our 
bidding. The X-rays, the phonograph, 
the electric light, the telephone and a hun- 
dred other useful discoveries and inventions 
are the everlasting monuments of merit to 
the credit of America's Nature's noblemen. 
In the eastern world wealth like the pyra- 
mids of Egypt, in one continuous chain, goes 
from sire to son, always beyond dissemina- 
tion or attack. The semblance of serfdom 
supply the revenues of government and con- 
tinuous oppression is their dark future. The 
American pyramids of wealth look much 
more hopeful to the foe of aristocracy. In 
the American commonwealth each succeed- 
ing generation scatters the bricks placed in 
the great pyramids of millions ; thus the care- 
ful farmer's son becomes the successful mer- 
chant, or corporation magnate, and the son 
of the millionaire becomes the day laborer 
and leaves off where his father began in the 
struggle for wealth and power. After 
years of bondage and servitude the children 
of Israel sought the land of promise and 
marched out six hundred thousand strong 
to occupy their possessions. The American 
farmer has found the promised land, and in 
this, the year of 'jubilee,' is in possession and 
has freed himself of much of the wearing 
toil known to his ancestors of years ago. He 
no longer uses the flail to thresh his grain or 
the horse power to grind it. He need no 
longer drag and tramp the mud roads to the 
city. The telephone is in his house and the 
morning paper is on his doorstep. He lives 
in the country and enjoys the blessings of 
luxury and comfort not even known to po- 
tentates and kings, whose word was law. 
He is the American citizen and Nature's no- 
bleman at home. A nation is not measured 

by the date of its government. This nation 
of ours is new in years and young in experi- 
ence. The value of a discovery or an inven- 
tion is not estimated by the wealth of the 
discoverer. The true Nature's nobleman is 
known by what he really is ; what he has 
done, and what he can do. The world cares 
little of what his ancestors have been. That 
was yesterday. The hustling, busy world 
is living the today. Now is the accepted 
time, and this is the place. What has he 
done and what can he do? are the only pass- 
words to his acceptance. Little Switzerland, 
with small mountainous area, has stood as a 
beacon light of liberty in F.urope for ages 
past for what she has done for her citizen 
population. Bismarck, the 'Iron Chancellor,' 
with consummate skill, unified the states of 
Prussia and the German nation of today, has 
one of the best drilled military organizations 
on the continent of Europe. Yet that coun- 
try contributes many thousands strong each 
year to the throng who choose the air of 
American freedom under the protection ol 
the stars and stripes rather than that mili- 
tary 'fatherland.' Here they are true Na- 
ture's noblemen at home. It was Frederick 
the Great, of Germany, who sent to Wash- 
ington a sword bearing the inscription, 
'From the oldest general in Europe to the 
greatest general in the world.' The Ameri- 
can laborer is busy in his incessant etfort to 
provide for his home and family, yet the cen- 
ters of commerce and trade have conspired 
to force him to pay undue tribute on the 
necessities he must use as a member of the 
highest stage of civilized community. That 
oppression should be the occasion of a decla- 
ration of rights in his own behalf. Past his- 
tory, however, of other lands recites his sim- 
ilar oppression. The eventful December of 



1799 caused the world to grieve and mourn 
the deatli of the patriot President of the 
United States. But amid mourning those 
patriots were caused to rejoice that their 
comrades in arms at Yorktown were now di- 
rected by the peasants' friend and protector, 
Napoleon Bonaparte. It was for him to 
overthrow the feudal servitude that nearly- 
crushed the honest toilers of the vine-clad 
hills of France. He gave his nation the 
'Code Napoleon' and placed it on a footing 
that commanded and received the respect of 
the whole of Europe. For a decade and a 
half an ever-grateful people followed him 
through his various fortunes. The coming 
nobleman should respect and revere the price 
of liberty. It is the record of nations that 
avarice, greed and oppression have robbed 
the freemen of their liberties and the laborers 
of their farms. Fathers and mothers today 
should remember that these are times of ex- 
acting competition, days when efficient ef- 
forts must be used to bring effective results. 
Aside from the duty which they owe to the 
state of giving to its sons and daughters that 
assistance which will best fit them for the 
battle that must be waged in the world's 
great arena before them, they owe the future 
noblemen that parental care which points out 
to them their obligations to others in the 
task of living. That the family circle, 
though favored it be, that the day must 
come when your children will leave your 
fireside for one of their own. That then 
their efforts will be guided by past habits 
and customs; then honesty and energy will 
direct them. A parent's best wishes will fol- 
low and applaud their successful efforts. 
They are your constant care and concern. 
Tn times past you have known little of leis- 
ure and less of luxury. Was it that you 

might have a farm and home free from debt ? 
That your sons and daughters might meet 
the world better equipped for the require- 
ments than you have been? You know that 
deep down in your hearts there is a well of 
tenderness and love for your children. You 
know, as the world knows, that the success 
of your child is Heaven to you. and that his 
failure is heartaches keener and deeper than 
can be told. Then teach that child by word, 
by precept and by example that the earnest, 
careful toiler in the line his hands and might 
findeth to follow is always worthy of his 
hire. That the ultimate reward for all well 
directed effort is that merited success which 
crowns a nation with civilization and its peo- 
ple with justice and honor. Along down 
the vista of ages we see the laborers return- 
ing from the temple with ruins for inspec- 
tion. There is a Calvin, a Wesley and a 
Cromwell ; a Burke, an Emmett and a Glad- 
stone. There is a Henry, a Jefferson and a 
Madison ; and in our own Hoosier state a 
Mills, a Morton and a Hendricks; all reared 
and bred under country influences. 'The 
stone that the builders rejected became the 
head of the corner.' In ages past there was 
a carpenter's son who was scourged, spat 
upon and slain. The world knows His his- 
tory. Churches in all civilized lands tell 
His story. The stone that the builders re- 
jected shall ever stand as the head of the 
corner. Can you see a tall, spare lad of 
fourteen years in the dusk of the evening on 
the Alleghany slope gathering pine knots to 
warm the cheerless home of his widowed 
mother? He was a farmer's son, and Gen- 
eral Andrew Jackson, the patron saint of the 
Democratic party. Again, can you see an 
indescribably awkward barefoot boy poling 
a flatboat of hoop poles and pork down the 






; ! ' : ,' 

. ■ ■•■•<- 

' - it * . 


, . ; ■ ■ -I ; 


..._ ... 







Ohio river? That boy's fame grew to the 
length and breadth of the nation. By a 
stroke of his pen the southern slaves 
breathed an air of freedom. That was 
Abraham Lincoln, the idol of the American 
people. The stone that the 'mushroom' 
aristocracy rejected became the head of the 
comer. It may be truly stated that : 

The king may rule o'er land and sea, 
The lord may live right royally ; 

The soldier rides in pomp and pride, 
The sailor roams o'er ocean wide, 

But this or that, whate'er befall, 
The farmer, he must feed them all. 

God bless the man who sows the wheat. 

Who finds us milk, and fruit, and meat ; 

May his purse be heavy, his heart be light. 

His fields and home be free from blight. 
God bless the seeds his hands let fa!!, 
For the farmer, he must feed us all. 


Is there a resident who can draw a men- 
tal picture of the educational advantages of 
Adams county in 1840? At that time the 
county was four years old. Then school- 
houses could be built only with the consent 
of a majority of the legal voters of that par- 
ticular school district. When a vote was 
taken and it was decided to build a school- 
house the voters assembled and divided 
themselves into choppers, haulers, hewers, 
etc. If for any reason a resident wished to 
pay the money instead of work — which was 
estimated at thirty-seven and a half cents a 
day — an assessment of seventy-five cents 
was usually the full requirement of the law. 
Section 6 of the school law provided that: 
"The said trustees shall always be bound to 
receive at cash price in lieu of any such labor 
or money, as aforesaid, any plank, nails, 
glass or other material which may be needed 
about said building." The next section pro- 
vided that : "In all cases such schoolhouse 
shall be eight feet between the floors and at 
least one foot from the surface of the 
ground to the floor and furnished in a man- 

ner calculated to render comfortable the 
teacher and pupils." The teacher and pupils 
were "rendered comfortable" also by a huge 
fireplace, usually built of clay mortar mixed 
in chaff or of "niggerhead" stones. The 
seats were of two kinds, the high and the 
low. They were simply the one-half part 
of logs a foot or more thick split into two 
parts and hewed on the upper side, with 
ironwood poles put in for bench legs. There 
were no backs to these seats. Those who 
wrote on paper would sit on the high benches 
next to the wall. These faced puncheon 
desks, constructed of smooth-faced punch- 
eons resting on stout pins driven into the 
wall. There was but little system of grada- 
tion in seating the pupils. The boys were 
all on the one side of the room and the girls 
on the other. When recitation time cairtc 
they were all called out upon the floor and 
required to "toe the line" as indicated by the 
puncheons touching each other in the floor. 
In winter time the seats near the fire were 
exchanged as soon as one side of the pupil 
was "baked" or unendurably hot. The idea 



that a schoiar could learn his lesson without 
whispering it nearly aloud to himself had, at 
that time, not gotten this far west. Scholars 
were permitted to use such school books as 
they might happen to have, with the excep- 
tion of the New Testament as a reading" 
book and one of the approved spelling books. 
Webster's and McGuffy's were among the 
earliest used. As soon as the schoolhouse 
was ready for use the trustees called a school 
meeting to determine what amount of cash 
and what amount of produce were agreed 
upon as the teacher's pay. Not infrequently 
the teacher would change his boarding place 
once a week, and as it was called, "board 
around among the scholars." The pioneer 
settlers were subjected to many privations 
at first, but in the main were a moral and 
religious people. Whatever might have 
been their religious or political differences, 
they commonly agreed that to "spare the 
rod" was to "spoil the boy," and gave the 
teacher ample authority for its application. 
As a result many an idler received a sting- 
ing reward that headed him toward success- 
ful manhood. It was of common occur- 
rence for teachers to read their rules at the 
beginning of the term of school. Woe to the 
scholar who wilfully stepped beyond the 
bounds of "rectitude." 

In 1852 were enacted new school laws 
that gave trustees power to locate and build 
such number of schoolhouses as in their 
judgment the educational interests of the 
communities demanded. This same law re- 
quired teachers to make reports to their suc- 
cessors and to the school trustees as to the 
attendance, interest, etc., manifested by the 
pupils and patrons of the school district. 
The following may, or may not, have been 
a correct report of one of the early peda- 

fosrues to his successor and to the board of 
township trustees. There were three trus- 
tees from 1852 to 1862. 


"I will begin with the trustees. You know 
what a bad examination I had to pass. You 
know that no living mortal could give cor- 
rect answers to all them questions. You had 
never ought to put a teacher in a school 
where the scholars s:et so smart as to be 
shooting puzzling questions at him every 
day. I ain't no dictionary; air you? You 
should note this when you hire the next 
"To my successor in this school : 

"This is a good school, but it needs watch- 
ing. They can knock an eye out of any 
school round here on spelling. A little mem- 
orandum of the winter's work is sticking 
just behind the teacher's platform. If you 
don't find it and a little red-headed boy that 
lisps comes to school, he will set you right, 
and give you all the information that you 
need, and help you run the school. Don't 
let your ink freeze up, for it spiled this way 
last winter and raised a rookery all over the 
deestrick. If you want a good view of your 
work, compare what people tell you with 
what they tell others. Yours, etc., 

"C. J. B." 

"N. B. — You musn't make any rules on 
whispering and pin-sticking, as that is what 
I got raised for. B." 

No doubt that Mr. C. J. B.'s report was 
fully satisfactory to the trustees and that he 
received his full pay. However, the report 
is silent on the number of dnys taught, the 
number of pupils in attendance, the days of 
absence, tardiness, etc. The early public 



school terms were but ten or twelve weeks in 
length. It was the custom for the "school- 
master," as he was commonly called, for 
there were few women teachers, to teach a 
"select" school, that was paid for by sub- 
scription from those who sent their children 
to the school. The rate of tuition varied, as 
the "schoolmaster" frequently gave instruc- # 
tion in vocal music and held singing schools 
at night in several districts at the same 
term. Others taught only the day schools 
at a rate of from one dollar to two dollars 
a month of twenty teaching days. The rate 
of tuition also varied somewhat with the 
provisions of boarding the teacher while 
teaching. Some of the first teachers in the 
county, who were paid public money for 
their services were: 

Parker Wise, James R. Smith, Stephen 
Armstrong, Riesen Todd, John Lee, Wil- 
liam Elzey, Mary Galoway, Moriah Cayton, 
Jacob Hart, Joseph French, J. K. Fuller, W. 
H. Stockham, Semour Worden, Joseph 
Steele, Stephen Cowan, Israel Cowen, Mar- 
garet Smith, Sarah McKisic, Joel Johnson, 
Daniel Death, William Bugh, Thomas Gra- 
ham, William Merryman, Perry Lewton, 
Amos Sparks, S. E. Coxen, Samuel Schaf- 
fer, Moriah Bobo, Georg-e Bunner, P. N. 
Collins, Eugene Bunner, \Y. J. Myers, 
James M. Ward, William Baughman, David 
Studabaker, Harlo Mann, .Van Simcoke, 
Isaac N. Fordyce, S. W. Peterson, Andrew 
Wise, Valentine Kirsch; J. C. Tyndall, Wil- 
liam McConnehey, Washington Calder- 
wood, George H. Martz, Thomas Archbold, 
W. H. Lenhart, Ezra B. Archbold, Julia 
Spuller, James R. Bobo, Andrew Lucky. 

Some violinists of note in the early years 
of the county's history were: James Nib- 
lick. Washington Calderwood, Andrew Mc- 

Donald, Isaac Grim, Abraham Rawley. Wil- 
liam Troxel, Jonathan Ryan, Samuel Fet- 
ters, Smith Williams, John Ross, Charles 
Miller, Samuel Morningstar, Jerry Swank, 
William Jackson, William R. Vance. 

•Some teachers of vocal music who were 
not school teachers were: Peter Money- 
smith, Ben McLaughlin, James H. Smith, 
Simon Good, A. J. Hoskinson, Charles. 
Zwick, David Long, Joseph Sparks, Ark 
Baughman, John Coots, Thomas J. Arch- 

Before there were any school houses 
erected resident cabins were frequently used 
for school purposes. It is said that a sub- 
scription school was taught in Monmouth 
about 1840 by Sarah McKisic in a building 
of round logs, with only the ground for a 
floor. This, however, was a summer and 
fall term of school. George Ames's res- 
idence, in Root township, and Stephen 
Armstrong's cabin, in Wabash township, 
were each used for school purposes before 
school houses were built in those districts. 
The greater number of the school buildings 
erected before 1854 were log structures. 
Wabash and Root townships each claim the 
distinction of the first public school house in 
the county. The Gorsline school house, in 
"section 17, in Root township, and the Mc- 
Hugh school house, in section 20, in Wa- 
bash township, were each built about 1S3O 
or 1S40. These houses were built under the 
statutory provisions, provided with punch- 
eon floors, clapboard roofs, held in place by 
weight poles; large fireplaces and paper win- 
dows, well greased with 'coon oil. As early 
as 1840 the village of Decatur secured her 
first school house, which, was a round log 
structure and was located near the cast end 
of inlot No. 270, in the original town plat. 



The "Noah's Ark" building is now standing 
on this lot on the east side of North Second 
street. The last log school house used for 
school purposes in Adams county was lo- 
cated at the southeast corner of section 2, in 
Kirkland township. In 1874 Trustee Dan- 
iel Weldy built a brick building just east of 
this across the road that was the first brick 
school house in Kirkland township and the 
second one in the county. In 1S52, as 
shown by the school commissioner's report 
to the state superintendent, Larrabee, there 
were but seven public school buildings with- 
in the county. Wabash township had 
three and Root township had two of them ; 
Saint Mary's and French townships the oth- 
ers. After the new constitution of 1S52 
went into effect the trustees were empowered 
to build school houses without securing an 
expression of the residents through school 
meetings. From that time on frame build- 
ings were erected in many districts instead 
of log structures. Wabash township never 
had but three log school buildings. Before 
i860 there were nine frame school buildings 
in the township and but one of them, the 
Ford school house, was lathed and plastered. 
This was built in 1856 and was the first lath 
and plastered school house in the south part 
of the county. Before i860 Root township 
had eight frame school houses and had at 
least four log school houses previous to that 
time. Nearly all of the other township 
school houses were built of logs. These 
frame buildings had hewed rafters, studding 
and joists and were weatherboarded with 
unplaned boards, and commonly ceiled with 
undressed green inch lumber. When this 
became seasoned large cracks were left in the 
walls and ceiling. Within the summer and 
fall terms the mud wasps and lizards shared 

the occupancy with pupils and teacher. The 
furniture was a shade better in these than 
in the original log school houses. Instead 
of the puncheon seats, high and low, they 
were the low and high, made of two-inch 
■undressed planks, simply large backless 
benches. A huge box stove was in the cen- 
ter of the room instead of the fireplace at 
one end of the house. The greased paper 
windows gave place to a few two-sash eight 
by ten glass windows— commonly five win- 
dows, two at each side and one at the end 
opposite the door. The door locks 
were iron, with large brass keys, heavy 
enough for tack hammers. A bent wire or 
a big nail would unlock nearly any of them. 
The first brick school house in Adams coun- 
ty was built by Trustee John Christen in thrr 
northwest comer of section 36, in Root 
township, in 1873, and is known as the 
"Dent school." In 1S92 this building was 
removed and a modern school house put in 
its place by Trustee Isaac Brown. At this 
time nearly all of the school buildings in the 
county — ninety-nine in number of public 
schools and two Catholic and five Lutheran 
— are brick, most of them of modern con- 
struction. The second brick school house 
was known as the "Hartman school" and 
was built in 1874 and was torn down and a 
modern graded school house of two rooms 
built by Trustee Joshua Bright in its stead 
at what is now Peterson in 1895. The prin- 
ciple of the free school system is that "the 
property of the state shall educatac the chil- 
dren of the state regardless of religious be- 
liefs or political affiliations." When the 
trustees began to build brick school houses 
the hue and cry went up long and loud that 
the taxpayers were being robbed for unnec- 
essary expenditures of the people's money. 


In 1885 the work of building brick school superintendent of public instruction) shall, 

houses only began in earnest and to con- by himself or deputy, of whom he is author- 

tinue. The average school building then ized to appoint one in each county, examine 

cost from fourteen to sixteen hundred dol- all applicants for license and if found quali- 

lars; at this time an average country school fled license them as common school teachers 

school house costs from two thousand five for one or two years." For the eight years 

hundred to three thousand dollars and no subsequent to 1852 the deputy state superin- 

questions asked. The -earliest school teach- tendents looked after the school revenues 

ers had many inconveniences not even and licensed the common school teachers. 

dreamed of by him or her who now would From i860 to 1873 tne school examiners 

become a teacher. There was little effort were appointed by the county board of com- 

toward a uniformity of school text-books missioners. The first election of county 

until about 1SS0, and in some localities at a superintendents was on the first Monday in 

much later date. The school term was short June, 1873. In 1865 the state board of edu- 

and the mud and water deep. There were cation was clothed with additional powers 

no maps, no encyclopedias, globes or die- and sent out printed lists of questions for the 

tionaries, and seldom any blackboards. The use of county school examiners in the selec- 

printed copybook had not yet found its way tion of teachers. These lists have been pre- 

into these backwoods. The teacher was ex- pared and forwarded to the various coun- 

pected to write the copies, repair the crippled ties and since used in all teachers' examina- 

quill pens, act as his own janitor in certain tions. The various school commissioners, 

instances, cut the logs into lengths to burn, school examiners and deputy state superin- 

treat the school at Christmas, and all for tendents that have served in Adams county 

the magnificent wages of one dollar and until the election of the first county superin- 

twenty-five cents a day for three months in tendent are: 

the year. His pay was small, drawbacks School commissioners elected by the peo- 

numerous and future prospects uncertain. p i e and date of election : 

His life has been a line of development from „ . . „ l8 „ 

, r , Benjamin F. Blossom i©37 

then to the present. At the beginning of the j, ■ - 1 tt lS^O 

county a school commissioner was elected -pj , a r C 18-H 

by a vote of the peqple at the annual elec- j ohn N _ jj^ l8 ^ 6 

tions. This continued for the first fifteen ^ 00 

James H. Brown J °4° 

years, then there were deputy state superin- . ah RandaJ1 1850 

tendents appointed in each county to carry- _ . . . , 

f , , , . Deputv state superintendents appointed 
out the wishes of the state superintendent 

, . ... . , r ., by the state superintendent: 
and perform the duties required of the 

school commissioners — which was princi- J- H. Nevius 3- 

pally to look after the common school reve- J- D. Nutman 23 

nues of the county, the examinations of J- P« Porter ' :>4 

teachers, etc. The act of June 14, 1852, pro- Josiah Crawford l8 5 6 

vided, among other things, that : "He (the David Studabaker T ^5 S 



Common school examiners appointed by Samuel C. Bolman 1866 

the county board of commissioners : Daniel D. Heller, school examiner 

1871 (elected county superintend- 
James R. Bobo ^62 ent) l873 


Under this class of industries may be 
mentioned banks, telephones, electric lights, 
gas plants and water works. In years gone 
by cash was paid and received ten times as 
often as at the present time. The check and 
the draft has taken its place. This condi- 
tion could not exist were it not for banks. 
Banking is not only a business for those en- 
gaged in it, but it provides a very conveni- 
ent means of handling large or small sums 
of money with but slight risk of loss. Its 
checks are usually a safe means of convey- 
ing payment from buyer to seller. The first 
attempt at anything in the line of banking in 
Adams county was begun about 1S50 by J. 
D. Nutman, who at that time and previous 
thereto had operated a general store at De- 
catur, and in partnership with another had 
a branch establishment at Pleasant Mills 
known as Nutman & Smith. In the seven- 
ties, near the latter part of his life. Mr. Nut- 
man is said to have resembled the noted jour- 
nalist, Horace Greeley, and that his picture 
has been frequently mistaken for that of 
Mr. Greeley. We are told that Decatur had 
hardly been located as a county seat when a 
round log cabin was built at the comer of 
Monroe and First streets on Iol No. 274, 
where the mitten factory is now situated, 
and a small general store started by Henry 
Reichard. who came from Willshire. Ohio. 
Mr. Nutman bought out Reichard's interest 

and at once started his career as a merchant 
and financier. He was soon appointed post- 
master of Decatur, and is said to have been 
without a predecessor. The mail was then 
carried on horseback from Richmond to 
Fort Wayne — the carrier making the trip 
and return in four days. In the store busi- 
ness he was quite successful, and finally 
drifted into the banking business on a small 
scale. Along about 1845 he built a two- 
story frame store building at the corner of 
Monroe and Second streets on lot No. 57, 
where the Holthouse, Schulte & Co. clothing 
store is now located. Within the next few 
years he built a two-room single-story brick 
building to the south of his store room on 
Second street that he called his office, but 
others knew it as "Nutman's Shaving Of- 
fice." It perhaps took its name from the 
custom of buying notes at a discount or re- 
duction from their face value. This was 
called "shaving notes." This side industry 
proved a profitable investment and about 
1S62 he disposed of his store interests as an 
active partner or owner and sought a larger 
field of action at Fort Wayne. In 1866 he 
sold his Decatur residence property to Jesse 
Niblick and about 1S70 he with others or- 
ganized a private bank at Decatur and began 
operations under a firm name. At that time 
the population of Decatur and of Adams 
county was comparatively small. The fob 



lowing will give some idea of the general 
•development of the county, and it will be 
seen that until in 1872, when the first rail- 
road was completed, that the county's 
growth was somewhat slow. In 1830 Allen 
county included what is now Adams county, 
and at that time had a population of 996 ; in 
1S40 Adams county as it is now bounded 
had a population of 2,264 ! in 1850, 5,774 ; in 
1S60, 9.252; in 1870*, 11,382; in 1S80, 
15,385; in 1890, 20,181 ; in 1900, 22,232. 

Mr. Nutman was married while a mer- 
hant in Decatur, and as his first residence 
built a two-story frame house on lot 294, on 
Front ■ street, now the property of Edward 
A. Phillips. This building has two porches 
on the first story, a second-story porch, a cel- 
lar and nine rooms. In 1843 stoves were a 
luxury and their places were supplied by five 
fireplaces in this house. In a few years — 
perhaps in 1856 — Mr. Nutman built the 
massive old residence back from Marshall 
and Second streets on lots 259, 260 and 261, 
now known as the "old Niblick homestead." 
This was bought by Jesse Niblick and has 
for more than forty years been the home of 
the Niblick family. This is a tall, large thir- 
teen-room house, with a porch on the second 
story and cellar and several porches on the 
first story. This residence has arrange- 
ments for as much fire as nine ordinary 
cabins would need. It has five fireplaces 
downstairs and four on the second floor. 
In 1863 Mr. Nutman became interested in 
the banking business at Fort Wayne and 
moved. to that citty. 


In. July, 1870, J. D. Nutman and Jesse 
Niblick established the first banking: firm in 

Adams county at Decatur, which subse- 
quently developed into the present "Old 
Adams County Bank." This was a private 
banking institution under the firm name of 
Niblick & Nutman. In November of the 
same year Robert Allison, who was then a 
merchant at Buena Vista, in the south part 
of the county, and David Studabaker, an 
attorney-at-law in Decatur, were admitted 
into the partnership and the firm name was 
changed to Niblick, Nutman & Co. In 1872 
Mr. Nutman retired from the active mem- 
bership in the firm and its name was changed 
to Niblick, Studabaker & Co. In August, 
1874, the Adams County Bank was organ- 
ized with a capital of fifty thousand dollars. 
In 1882 its capital was increased to seventy- 
five thousand dollars. After twenty years' 
existence as a state bank it was reorganized 
in 1894 under the name of the "Old Adams 
County Bank"; its capital was increased to 
one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. 
In 1907 its banking rooms were completely 
remodeled, a large number of private safety 
deposit drawers were put in the vault and 
modem bank furniture of quartered oak, 
with frosted glass, granite and copper trim- 
mings, took the place of the grained poplar 
desks and tables in use for years. The pres- 
ent bank officers are: 

President, Charles S. Niblick; first vice 
president, Mathias Kirsch ; second vice pres- 
ident, John Niblick; cashier, Ed X. Ehing- 
er; first assistant cashier. Frank J. YYem- 
hoff; principal bookkeeper, Emma Gillig; 
first assistant bookkeeper, Fannie Hite: sec- 
ond assistant bookkeeper, B. F. Tervere; 
third assistant bookkeeper, Jesse Niblick. 
The president of this bank. Charles S. Nib- 
lick, has been connected with the bank for 
more than twenty-five years; first as book- 



keeper for four years, then as first assistant 

The Niblick & Nutman Bank started in 
1870 in the old Closs tavern building, at the 
corner of Monroe and Second streets. The 
old tavern house now stands on the north 
side of Monroe street near the river. In 
1875 the bank was moved to the corner of 
Madison and Second streets, just across 
from the court house, until the present quar- 
ters — a two-story brick building — was put 
up on the site of the first bank on Monroe 
and Second streets. The management of 
this, the oldest banking corporation in the 
county, has always been careful and con- 
servative. The bank has not only grown in 
wealth and influence, but has proven a 
source of great convenience to the city and 
the surrounding country. Its present direct- 
ors are : Charles S. Niblick, Ed X. Ehinger, 
Mathias Kirsch, W. J. Vesey, John Niblick, 
Henry Hite and John S. Bowers. 


Another financial institution of much 
power and usefulness is the First National 
Bank of Decatur. This bank is located in 
the center of the business part of the city, on 
Second street, and now is twenty-four years 
old. It was incorporated on the 16th day 
of July, 1883, by the following named resi- 
dents of Decatur and some others from Del- 
phos, Ohio. Its stockholders at its begin- 
ning 'were: Dr. T. T. Dorwin, J. D. Hale, 
Godfry Christen, B. W. Shclty, Henry H. 
Myers, Daniel Weldy, R. S. Peterson, J. H. 
Hobrock, Henderich Chrishanei, Henry 
Dirks, L. C. Miller, John Dirkson, A. R. 
Pierce and J. B. Holthouse. And on the 
15th day of August, 1SS3, its charter was 

granted and the bank opened for business 
with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, with 
the following named officers : T. T. Dor- 
win, president; Henry Dirks, vice president; 
Gus A. Kolbe, cashier, and R. P. Dorwin, 
bookkeeper. From the first it has been con- 
servative, never changing location, and mak- 
ing few changes in officers ; has had but two 
bank presidents, Dr. Dorwin and P. W. 
Smith. For the last thirteen years Ed X. 
Ehinger has served as assistant cashier and 
C. A. Dugan as cashier of the First Nation- 
al. In 1907 Mr. Ehinger retired from the 
assistant cashier's position for a cashier's 
position in another bank. In 1S94 Mr. Du- 
gan resigned the chair of professor of math- 
ematics in Blackburn University, at Carlon- 
ville, Illinois, and accepted his present posi- 
tion. Dr. Dorwin, who for many years 
was engaged in the practice of medicine, and 
of later years operated a drug store in De- 
catur, was one of the principal organizers of 
the Decatur National Bank. On the 1st day 
of January, 1895, the capital stock was in- 
creased to one hundred thousand dollars and 
the name of the bank was subsequently 
changed from the Decatur National Bank 
/to the "First National Bank." It is 
amply provided with individual lock draw- 
ers in its large steel vaults, protected by 
time locks and other safeguards, for such of 
its patrons and customers as care to avail 
themselves of these conveniences. It is 
closely connected with several other monied 
interests, such as the Berne State Bank, the 
Willshire Bank and the Paulding (Ohio) 
Bank and others. Though more than a 
decade the junior of the oldest banking in- 
stitution in the county, it merits and holds 
the entire confidence of its large and varied 
patronage. It is now in its twenty-fifth year 


|M ' • ■ 1 "'""_■' 'OKU 

: nfmi I i :'•./ 

s, n^jj _ " - . -, " 

. . ■■ 


THE BIG STORE (Destroyed by fire June _>S. 1903). 



and has steadily grown in the volume of its 
business. It has never experienced any seri- 
ous reverses and is one of the permanent 
financial institutions of the county. Its 
present officers and directors are: 

P. W. Smith, president; W. A. Kuebler, 
vice president; Charles A. Dugan, cashier; 
Thomas J. Dirkin, assistant cashier; F. W. 
Jaebker, teller; Rose Christen, bookkeeper; 
Frank Bremerkamp, assistant bookkeeper. 
Its board of directors is composed of the fol- 
lowing named stockholders: P. W. Smith, 
W. A. Kuebler, Daniel Sprang, D. Schmitt, 
M. F. Rice, C. A. Dugan and E. C. Bleeke. 


For years before Geneva had a bank it 
was conceded that a bank in Geneva would 
be a great convenience to merchants, stock- 
men, farmers and timber dealers in the terri- 
tory between Portland and Decatur, and 
Bluffton and Celina, Ohio. As early as 
1SS5 Charles D. Porter put a large burglar- 
proof safe in his drug store and rendered 
what accommodation he could to those 
whose business required them to handle large 
sums of money. In 1889 Mr. Porter started 
the Geneva Bank, which he successfully op- 
erated until 1S93, at which time he built the 
Shamrock block, which contained the hotel 
and the present banking rooms occupied by 
the Bank of Geneva. When this building 
was completed the Bank of Geneva was or- 
gapized, which was in 1893. The names of 
the organizers are: Charles D. Porter, Da- 
vid Studabaker, W. H. Niblick, R. B. Alli- 
son, A. G Briggs, S. W. Hale, George Hart- 
man and some others. Its original capital 
stock was forty-five thousand dollars. The 
preseat officers of this bank are: A. G. 

Briggs, president; S. W. Hale, vice presi- 
dent ; Charles D. Porter, cashier, and W. B. 
Hale, assistant cashier. For its age this 
bank has perhaps handled more cash than 
any other bank in the county, as during the 
great oil boom in the southern part of the 
county the Bank of Geneva seemed to be 
right in the center of the pool. The man- 
agers of this financial enterprise are all con- 
servative men, and there is no doubt that 
this is one of the permanent financial institu- 
tions of the town. 


The Bank of Berne was organized in Oc- 
tober, 1 89 1, and is now in its sixteenth year. 
Its first officers were: A. A. Sprunger, 
president ; Joseph Rich, vice president ; R. K. 
Allison, cashier, and Rudolph Lehman, as- 
sistant cashier. After operating four years 
it built the present bank building at a cost 
of about fifteen thousand dollars, with an 
office equipment of about five thousand dol- 
lars more. The outward walls of the bank 
building are made of Zanesville pressed 
brick, which make a very tasty appearance. 
The bank ' furniture is quarter-sawed oak, 
properly trimmed in bronze, granite and 
marble. This bank was opened for business 
with a capital of forty thousand dollars. The 
present capitalization is fifty-two thousand 
dollars, with a surplus of thirty-five thou- 
sand dollars. The present officers are: C. 
A. Neuenschwander, president ; J. F. Leh- 
man, vice president; Jesse Rupp, cashier. 
This bank is situated at the corner of Main 
and Jefferson streets and within the last 
decade and a half has gained a large patron- 




The People's State Bank is now a little 
over four years old, but is one of the ro- 
bust youngsters that cannot only stand 
alone, but can render aid and assistance to 
others on the road it travels. This bank was 
organized in April, 1903, with a capital 
stock of forty thousand dollars. It subse- 
quently increased its capital stock to fifty 
thousand dollars, which is largely distrib- 
uted among the merchants and farming in- 
terests in and near Berne. The present offi- 
cers are: J. C. Schug, president; J. P. 
interests in and near Berne. Its present offi- 
cers are: J. C. Schug, president; J. P. 
Habegger, vice president ; Rudolph Schug, 
cashier, and E. D. Engler, assistant cashier. 
Its deposits are in the neighborhood of one 
hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars. The 
People's State Bank occupies its own bank 
building, which is a two-story brick, on the 
south side of Main street, east of Jefferson 
street, and is amply protected by a triple time 
lock, burglar-proof screw-door Mosler safe 
and other appliances connected with modern 
safety vault security. The permanence of 
this bank as one of the substantial financial 
institutions of Berne is assured by the steadi- 
ly increasing volume of its- business. 


For several years private individuals have 
supplied the commercial members of the 
neighborhood of Monroe with banking ad- 
vantages. This fact is apparent when it is 
known that Monroe is one of greatest grain 
markets between Richmond and Fort 
Wayne. Every enterprise must have an 
advocate and a beginning. J. F. Hocker and 

M. S. Liechty are for Monroe first and last 
and for the Monroe State Bank all the time. 
Late in 1906 J. F. Hocker, M. S. Liechty, 
W. S. Smith, William Scherer, W. L. Keller 
and some others concluded that Monroe 
must have a bank. They succeeded in con- 
vincing about forty or fifty others that a 
bank was a necessity at Monroe and as a 
result early in 1907 an organization was ef- 
fected and the proper bank officers chosen 
for the ensuing year. The present officers 
are: W. S. Smith, president; J. F. Hocker, 
vice president; M. S. Liechty, cashier, and 
C. E. Bolinger, assistant cashier. This 
bank opened its doors for a reg- 
ular banking business the first week 
in September, 1907. The bank build- 
ing, which is a modern, tasty brick, 
and which is about twenty by sixty feet 
in size, was completed in August, 
1907, and the funds of this bank will 
be protected by a safety time lock, screw- 
door Victor safety vault of the most modern 
pattern. The town of Monroe is situated in 
the geographical center of the county from 
north to south and at one time contested for 
the county seat. Within the last ten years 
the surrounding country has been greatly 
improved by roads and drainage, and within 
the last year the town was incorporated and 
now possesses some additional privileges and 
advantages. Located six miles from any 
other town and in the heart of a good grain 
and stock region, the Monroe State Bank 
will doubtless be a successful enterprise. 



The Citizens' Bank was organized in No- 
vember, 1872, by Alexander Eicher, a mer- 
chant and mill-owner at Pleasant Mills, and 



John W. Rout, a timber dealer and mill op- 
erator in Decatur and Monroeville, Indiana. 
This bank began business in Decatur about 
the first of the year 1873 in a brick building 
on lot 61, where the Blackburn drug store is 
situated. The panic of 1876-7 was more than 
it could stand ; it closed its doors and dis- 
continued business in February, 1878, after 
about -five years of varied experiences. Its 
failure was hastened, it is stated, by over-in- 
vestments of some stock dealers at Will- 
shire, Ohio, and losses by some lumber deal- 
ers, the securities of whom were insufficient. 


The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of 
Geneva was organized in 1892 and contin- 
ued in business about a year. This was one 
of a series of banks that had their origin 
in a Chicago banker by the name of Star- 
buck. In this bank were a number of resi- 
dent share-holders, who suffered considera- 
ble loss, though the bank in the course of 
settlement with its creditors paid a certain 
per cent, of its obligations. It has been said 
that over-investment in certain business en- 
terprises without adequate sureties caused 
the Chicago banker to draw too heavily on 
the branch banks, of which the Farmers 
and Merchants was one, and they were 
forced to close their doors. A John Craft 
was the cashier of the bank at the time of its 
suspension. It has been stated that he 
among others was a heavy loser. The af- 
fairs of this bank were closed up by the re- 
ceiver, Amos Gillig, of Decatur, about 1895. 


Another class of financial institutions 
T 'iat have performed a certain part in the 

building up of homes for many laboring peo- 
ple throughout the county, principally in the 
cities and smaller towns, are the building and 
loan associations. These are operated upon 
an entirely different basis from banking, yet 
without them there are people who would 
never have made it convenient to save suf- 
ficient money to buy a home of their own. 
The German Building, Loan Fund and Sav- 
ings Association of Decatur, Indiana, was 
organized under the Indiana state laws in 
April, 1S90, and was incorporated in May of 
the same year with the following named of- 
ficers : John Schurger, president ; Norval 
Blackburn, vice president; Dallas G. M. 
Trout, treasurer ; Paul G. Hooper, secre- 
tary, and John Blakeslee, solicitor. 

The directors were D. G. M. Trout, Paul 
G. Hooper, John Blakeslee, Anson Van- 
Camp, Amos Foreman, Rufus K. Allison, 
Silas W. Hale, Frank M. Schermyer, C. T. 
Dorwin, John Schurger and Norval Black- 
burn. The capital stock of the association 
was limited to five hundred thousand dol- 
lars in shares of fifty dollars each. No per- 
son was allowed to own more than one hun- 
dred shares. There has been a number of 
other building- and loan associations organ- 
ized in the county, but about all of them 
have expired by limitation or have paid out 
their stock. In 1S73 the Decatur Loan As- 
sociation was organized with William G. 
Spencer as president and D. G. M. Trout as 
treasurer and secretary. In 1876 the Cen- 
tennial Building and Loan Association was 
organized. In 1882 a second Decatur 
Building and Loan Association was organ- 
ized, in which John Blakeslee had extensive 
interests. In 1895 a third Decatur Building 
and Loan Association was organized. Paul 
G. Hooper and D. G. M. Trout were leading 



members of this association. At the pres- 
ent time about all of the stock in this asso- 
ciation is paid up. Dr. Trout holds the 
largest interest in this association. At the 
present time the German Building, Loan 
Fund and Savings Association of Decatur is 
perhaps the only building association that is 
attempting to do much business in the 


The Decatur Trenton Rock Mining Com- 
pany was organized at Decatur on the 5th 
day of January, 1892, its purpose being to 
drill in or near Decatur for gas for illumi- 
nating and heating purposes. Stock at twen- 
ty-five dollars a share was placed upon the 
market and about four thousand five hun- 
dred dollars' worth sold. The test wells were 
sunk in the south part of the city, one near 
the Chicago & Erie Railroad bridge and the 
other west of the Grand Rapids & Indiana 
Railroad, south of the Cloverleaf tracks. 
In neither of these wells was gas found in 
paying quantities. In the fall of 1892 R. C. 
Kerlin & Bro., of Toledo, Ohio, bought in 
the stock of the company and secured the 
franchise to lay pipes and operate a gas 
plant at Decatur, Monroe., Berne and Gen- 
eva. The gas mains were then laid to what 
was later known as the "Camden field," 
about thirty-five miles southwest of Decatur. 
The name of the corporation was then 
changed to the "Logansport & Wabash Val- 
ley Gas Company," under which name it is 
still operating. For the first six years cf 
its operations there were no meters in use 
excepting where desired by consumers; flat 
rates were charged, or a certain price for 

each furnace or stove regardless of how 
much gas was used When the meter re- 
quirement was made a more economical use 
of gas was begun, and all those refusing to 
put in meters were disconnected from the 
service. In 1905 the supply had so much 
diminished that all furnaces and mills were 
disconnected and shut off. At this time it is 
sufficient only for light heating purposes, 
and at times is entirely out. The present gas 
rate as charged by the company is twenty- 
five cents a thousand cubic feet. The luxury 
of natural gas in Adams county will soon be 
among the things that were. At present the 
greater number of its former users lay in a 
supply of coal for winter use. 

citizens' telephone company. 

The Citizens' Telephone Company was 
organized in Decatur on the 20th day of 
August, 1894. with a capital stock of five 
thousand dollars. Its patronage has been 
one of steady growth, and from time to time 
it has been compelled to enlarge its general 
office rooms and increase its numbers of op- 
erators. It now owns its own office build- 
ing on Monroe street near Third and has in 
operation about five hundred and seventy- 
five phones in Decatur and about three hun- 
dred throughout the fanning districts and 
in the town of Berne. After ten years of 
successful operation its capital stock was in- 
creased to fifty thousand dollars, a number 
of heavy copper cables were installed and 
the plant materially changed and the serv- 
ice improved. Its present officers are: John 
S. Eowers, president ; David D. Clark, vice 
president; Ed X. Ehinger, treasurer, and 
Frank M. Schermyer, secretary. 




The city waterworks park is situated in 
north Decatur, west of Third street, east of 
Fifth street, Maple street at the north and 
Park street at the south. This is a part of 
the land donated to the county by Samuel 
L. Rugg as an inducement to secure the 
county 'seat's location at Decatur in 1S36. 
It contains several acres of land and is 
planted in some appropriate shade trees. Its 
buildings are of ample size and made of 
brick and stone. This property has the only 
brick smokestack that may be found as a 
part of any mill property in the 
county except at Preble. It may 
be a hundred and fifty feet in height, is 
about twelve feet square at the base and is 
imposing in appearance. The exhaust steam 
from the waterworks plant is utilized by the 
Umsberger Brothers in heating their exten- 
sive green house, which at the present time 
occupies five regular sized city lots on Fifth 
and Indiana streets. This plant has had 
much trouble in keeping its steam boilers in 
shape for duty; it has been said that the 
lime water of the wells is the source of the 
trouble. Be this as it may, the city has been 
called upon to put in a new set of boilers on 
an average about each past two years. 
To avert this expense a pipe has been re- 
cently laid and river water has taken the 
place of that from the wells. Late in 1892 
the city council of Decatur began arrange- 
ments for building an electric light and 
waterworks plant. Contractors were noti- 
fied of the purpose of the council and bids 
were submitted on the erection of the plant, 
furnishing the apparatus, labor and machin- 
ery. It was decided that the offers made by 
the Ker'in Brothers were the lowest and the 

most satisfactory. Their offers are as fol- 
lows : 

On waterworks with standpipe. .. .$55,375 
On waterworks, with reservoir.... 51,625 
On waterworks, without either. . . . 49,885 
In 1892 J. D. Edwards put in the first 
electric light plant at Decatur. He secured 
his power from the J. W. Place ice cream 
factory engines. This plant was successfully 
operated for about five years. In the mean- 
time, along about 1895, the city electric light 
plant was completed and ready for use. A 
controversy then arose as to whether or not 
the city could get peaceable possession of the 
streets and alleys for the location of their 
electric light poles. As in February, 1893, 
the city council of Decatur had entered into 
a contract with John D. Edwards to light 
the principal streets of Decatur with arc 
lights at the sum of eighty dollars each a 
year. The council made repeated efforts to 
have the poles removed, but all to no avail. 
Then on the night of the 29th day of Sep- 
tember, 1897, by order of the council, the 
city marshal, with some workmen, cut down 
all of the electric light poles on the main 
streets of Decatur. As a result of this pro- 
cedure Mr. Edwards sustained heavy loss 
and at once brought suit against the council- 
men of the city of Decatur to recover dam- 
ages. This case was venued twice and final- 
ly tried at Fort Wayne and resulted in a 
judgment of four thousand dollars against 
the councilmen named in the proceedings. 
By removing the Edwards property the city 
took possession of the streets and alleys for 
their light poles and fixtures. For five or 
six years the lights were furnished at "flat" 
rate, but later meters were installed and it is 
said that the plant is more than meeting its 
own expenses. When the waterworks and 



electric light propositions were before the 
city council and under consideration a num- 
ber of the heavy taxpayers opposed the 
measure of incurring so much unnecessary 
expense upon the city. 

On the 16th day of December, 1892, in a 
communication to the city council, through 
one of the city papers, David Studabaker 
said : "I estimate that there are more than 
a hundred houses south of the Grand Rap- 
ids & Indiana Railroad that are mortgaged 
to loan associations. The owners are work- 
ing very hard and their families economiz- 
ing all 'they can to meet the monthly install- 
ments on these mortgages. Is it fair or just 
to put a tax on these people to build water- 
works on a few streets in the city or to erect 
splendid, expensive electric lights in the old 
part of the city when they can receive no 
benefits from either? No. Gentlemen, the 
thing for you to do is to wait until you can 
treat the people alike. Waterworks on a 
few streets will only be waterworks in 
name. The majority of the people will not 
have it. So with electric lights. Unless you 

go to the enormous expense of lighting the 
whole city, which I have shown would 
plunge the city wonderfully in debt. The 
working people that work hard all day do 
not need a splendid electric light to sleep by, 
especially when the tax they would have to 
pay to support it would in many cases de- 
prive their families of the real necessities of 

The waterworks plant has proven an ex- 
pensive luxury and a bad investment for the 
city from a financial point of view. Through 
inferior machinery, or other causes — the 
latter the most probable — a new set of boil- 
ers have to be put in every few years. A 
large number of worthless water meters 
were also put in and removed at the prop- 
erty-owners' expense. Electric meters must 
now be used, and just at this time an en- 
tirely new set of water meters are demanded 
and must be put in by property-owners, 
which incurs another item of expense with- 
out any additional special benefits to the con- 


It was not until 1848 that Adams county 
had a local newspaper. Special advertise- 
ments and legal notices were published in 
the nearest adjoining county papers. Some 
of the earliest visitors to the homes of this 
county were the Richmond Intelligencer, 
started in i82i,.at Richmond, Wayne coun- 
ty, Indiana, by Elijah Lacy; and the Rich- 
mond Palladium, started in 1833 by Nelson 
Boon, and in July of the same year the 
Fort Wayne Sentinel began publication by 

Thomas Tigar, a Democrat, and S. V. B. 
Noel, a Whig. Neither of these publications 
attempted a daily paper until 1861. 


In the summer of 1848 Joshua Randal 
began the publication in Decatur of the De- 
catur Gazette. His printing office was lo- 
cated on inlot 61, on the west side of Second 
street, near where the Tague shoe store is 



situated. The building in which the office 
started was a plank room in front and a log 
cabin room in the rear, each a single story. 
The Gazette was a weekly folio, about ten 
by fifteen inches in size. It contained but 
little news matter, as there were few people 
in the town or in the county at that time. 
The copy of the paper that came to our no- 
tice was one issued in 1850 and a noticeable 
feature was the advertisement for runaway 
negro slaves. These were prefaced by a 
cut representing a negro carrying a small 
budget in what may have been intended to 
represent a handkerchief. A copy of one 
of these, minus the illustration, will suffice: 


"Two hundred dollars Reward. Ran 
away from the subscriber (Levi Pumphry), 
two negro men, one named Hanson, about 
five feet four inches high, full, bushy beard 
and copper color, and Gustav, who is about 
twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, 
smooth faced and thick lips, and stoops in 
his walk ; is black in color and about five feet 
six inches in height. Took away sundry 
articles of clothing. I will give one hundred 
dollars for each of them if secui'ed in jail so 
that I can get them. Levi Pumphry, Fal- 
mouth, Kentucky." In the Gazette office 
Joshua Randal was proprietor and Alvin 
Randal was all-round job and. "makeup" 
man. The owners secured the services of 
one James Smith as editor. The paper re- 
ceived such encouragement as the new settle- 
ments could give it and gradually grew to 
several hundred subscribers. It was Whig 
in politics and at that time there was an 
election held each year. It has been stated 
that one of the county officer's stewardship 

in 1850 was one of the animated themes of 
discussion by the editor, as his political 
friend had been recently defeated in the 
election. This highly angered his political 
opposition and they treated him to a coat of 
tar and feathers and gave him the traveling 
password to skip. It is said that he "skidid." 
The publication was continued until 1851, 
when it was bought and operated for a year 
by John W. Peterson, who sold it to James 
B. Simcoke in 1852. Mr. Simcoke discon- 
tinued the publication of the Gazette and 
started the Adams County Democrat, which 
he continued to publish until 1863. The De- 
catur Gazette had several locations within 
its short existence of four years. Its origi- 
nal owners before its publication lived at 
Monmouth, which in 1852 had twice as 
many taverns and three times as many 
houses as Decatur. 


The Adams County Democrat began its 
publication with the first real public im- 
provements that were to develop the re- 
sources of the county. In 1852 it was 
started at the discontinuance of the Gazette. 
About this time the For Wayne, Decatur & 
Piqua plank road question was under con- 
sideration. Also the location of the Ohio & 
Indiana Railroad, later consolidated with 
and now known as the Pittsburg, Fort 
Wayne & Chicago Railroad. Its owner and 
publisher, Mr. Simcoke, was an ardent advo- 
cate of these enterprises and rendered what 
assistance he could through the columns of 
his paper toward their consummation. An- 
other railroad enterprise on foot about that 
time was the Fort Wayne & Union City 
road, which in 1852-3 was located and cut 



out through the county. The Pittsburg- road 
was built, but it came to Fort Wayne. The 
plank road was completed through Decatur 
and gave it some new life. As the county 
was rapidly settling up, since the plank road 
was a new thoroughfare, a rival publication 
came into the field in 1857. It was the De- 
catur Eagle, under the management of H. L. 
Phillips. The Democrat struggled along 
with varying success until 1863, at which 
time it suspended. It is said that in its col- 
umns and upon the walls of the office might 
be read such announcements as : "Wood 
taken on subscription," "Read your home pa- 
per" and "Sale bills printed while you wait." 
As is frequently the case the publisher of 
the Democrat did not use the columns of his 
paper to the satisfaction of certain aspiring 
politicians — its owner at that time being the 
county clerk. The three parties then being 
the Douglas Democrats, the Breckenridge 
Democrats and the Whigs. The editor of 
the Democrat supported the Breckenridge 
wing of the Democratic party. In 1858 
William G. Spencer and T. Adlespurger 
were owners of the opposing papers, and in 
1862-3 the publishers of the two papers were 
candidates for county auditor. The Eagle's 
man won the race. W. G. Spencer was 
elected and the Adams County Democrat 
suspended publication, after holding the field 
for eleven years. 


The Decatur Eagle came before the public 
and made its introductory bow from the 
front door of its office on inlot No. 54. on 
the east side of Second street, about where 
the First National Bank is located, on the 
30th day of January, 1S57. Its office was 
a single-story building of two rooms, a log 

cabin with a plank addition, low ceilings and 
small windows. Its promoter and publisher 
was H. L. Phillips, who soon sold a part 
interest to William G. Spencer, then an as- 
piring young attomey-at-law in Decatur. In 
1859 the paper went into the hands of A. J*. 
Hill, who continued its publication until 
1863, at which time he enlisted as a volun- 
teer soldier and went into the army. It had 
little machinery and small subscription list 
at first and had a struggle for its life for the 
first few years of its existence. Mr. Hill 
leased the plant to Charles Schermyer and 
William G. Spencer, who operated it until 
July, 1864, at which time the plant was 
leased to Callen S: Hudgel. The office was 
then removed to the rooms over Dr. T. T. 
Dorwin's drug store and some improve- 
ments added. Dan J. Callen was a fearless, 
aggressive writer, who soon crossed ideas 
with the federal authorities, and as this was 
right in the heat of war times, was placed 
under surveillance. His partner, R. D. 
Huge!, was more conservative. Trouble 
arose in November, 1864, and on the 19th 
of December Dan J. Callen was placed under 
arrest by the United States provost marshal 
and taken to Indianapolis for trial. The 
commission hearing the charges were mili- 
tary officers, presided over by Major Henry 
L. Burnett, judge advocate. Mr. Hudgel 
soon yielded his editorial position to James 
R. Bobo and T. Adlespurger, who conduct- 
ed the paper until the 5th of May, 1865, on 
the return of A. J. Hill from the service. 
Mr. Hill continued to publish the Eagle un- 
til November, 1S74. at which time he sold 
out to Joseph McGonagle, who immediately 
discontinued the Eagle and started the Deca- 
tur Democrat, filling the Eagle subscrip- 
tions with the paper under the new name. 

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Thus after a varied experience of twenty- 
seven years the third newspaper in the coun- 
ty ceased to exist. 


The first newspaper published in the 
county was a Whig publication — the Ga- 
zette started in 1848. At that time the Whig 
party had control of part of the county of- 
fices. Isaac Wheeler, a Whig, received two 
hundred and eighty votes and Peter Kizer, 
a Democrat, received two hundred and sev- 
enty-eight votes for county commissioner. 
James Crabbs received two hundred and 
eighty-five votes and John Crawford re- 
ceived two hundred and eighty votes for 
county treasurer. Wheeler's majority — two 
votes — and Crabb's majority — six votes — ■ 
were Whig victories. The Gazette was dis- 
continued after about four years' publica- 
tion and the first Democrat paper built upon 
its ruins. In 1858 the Whig party was 
shifting about and the Republican party was 
coming into prominence on the slavery ques- 
tion. The Young American was the first 
Republican newspaper published in the 
county. In the general election of i860, in 
Adams county, the returns show that there 
were five hundred and forty-nine Republican 
•and eight hundred and forty-two Democrat 
votes cast. A change from one side to the 
other of one hundred and fifty votes would 
have made the county Republican. The 
Young American was started by T. J. Tolan, 
who had plenty of energy as a citizen, but 
as a newspaper man was unsuccessful. The 
paper suspended in i860 when a little over 
a year old. 


The Decatur Herald was a weekly folio, 
started in May, 1873, as an opposition pub- 

lication to the Decatur Eagle, then under 
the management of A. J. Hill. The Decatur 
Herald was a new outfit, bought and started 
by Semour Worden, then county auditor, 
and James R. Bobo, county attorney. It 
was published in the Bremerkamp building 
on lot 82, north of the court house, on Madi- 
son street. Charles Black was editor and 
manager. The publication continued until 
November, 1S74, at which time the Decatur 
Eagle was sold to Joseph McGonagle and its 
name dropped from the list of publications, 
that the Decatur Herald lowered its stand- 
ard and the political battle ceased. Who was 
the aggressor in this newspaper battle we 
will not attempt to say. But accusations 
and counter-accusations and affidavits were 
published that were of themselves evidence 
that some one was fighting for life. The re- 
sults of this battle of extermination nearly 
gave the Republican nominees the county 
offices. For representative A. N. Martin 
had a margin of one hundred and sixty- 
seven votes ; Joseph Spuller for commission- 
er had one hundred and thirty-six votes more 
than his opponent, and Godfry Christen for 
auditor had but sixty-nine votes of a major- 
ity. The Herald's subscription list ran up 
to perhaps five or six hundred, but by com- 
promise the Eagle's name was dropped and 
the subscriptions filled out by the Democrat, 
just then started. 


The Adams County Union was started in 
1878 in the Barthel building on Second 
street, just east of the court house. It was 
Republican, with Greenback tendencies. Its 
editors and publishers were J. F. Snyder and 
Paul G. Hooper. Its chief promoters, it is 



said, were Byron H. Dent and William H. 
Walters, at that time county clerk and coun- 
ty superintendent. Its purpose seems to have 
been to revive an interest in the Republican 
party and to defeat certain of the county 
nominees on the Democratic ticket. The 
heaviest fight seems to have been directed 
towards the candidates for county treasurer 
and for county auditor. The Democratic 
ticket pulled through, but with greatly re- 
duced majorities. This publication contin- 
ued for about two years, suspended and the 
editor and machinery moved to Lagrange, 
Indiana,- where Mr. Snyder started the La- 
grange Democrat in 1881. 


The Adams County Times was a Demo- 
cratic publication, started in the Bremer- 
kamp building on Madison street in 1876, 
by W. W. Timmons, who used the machin- 
ery recently in use by the Adams County 
Herald office. After an experience of less 
than a year this paper was discontinued and 
the machinery removed to Portland, Indi- 
ana, and used in a new publication in that 
town in 1877. That Mr. Timmons was a 
good newspaper man was admitted general- 
ly, but the field had been so worked and re- 
worked in Adams county, within the last 
four or five years that the newspaper public 
lost faith in even their own established party 
publications. The Portland Sun was suc- 
cessfully established and operated by him, 
and now is one of the leading newspapers of 
that city.' 


The Decatur Free Press was started in 
January, 1S77, by Edward A. Phillips and 
Winfield S. Congleton in the Tervere build- 

ing on the west side of Second street, over 
the present Decatur Hardware Company's 
store. Some of the machinery used in the 
Times office was brought into service, but 
the newspaper part was printed at Fort 
Wayne and distributed from the Decatur of- 
fice. This was the second clearly Repub- 
lican newspaper printed in the county; was 
a six-column folio and immediately followed 
the suspension of the Adams County Times, 
using its subscription list as a beginning. In 
1878 W. S. Congleton became sole owner 
and continued the publication until the mid- 
dle of September, 1879, when the mailing 
ist and plant were sold to Dr. D. G. M. 
Trout, who removed the plant to the Wei fry 
building east of the court house, put in new 
machinery anjl changed the name of the pa- 
per to the Decatur Journal. With George 
S. Stauntan in charge as publisher and D. G. 
M. Trout as editor, the first number of the 
Decatur Weekly Journal appeared on the 
27th day of August, 1879. Thus the Deca- 
tur Free Press, after an existence of a little 
over two and a half years, was discontinued 
to give place to the Journal, which is still 
published today. Mr. Phillips is not now 
the owner, as the plant belongs to a stock 
company, but is foreman in the circulation 
and mechanical department of the office. The 
Journal is issued on every Thursday from 
its office at the corner of Monroe and Third 
streets, and is now nearly twenty-six years 


Among the non-political newspapers pub- 

- lished in the county were the Cyndian, the 

Star-News, the Daily Evening News, the 

Geneva News, the Geneva Triumph, the 

Geneva Enterprise and the Adams Courrty 



Times. The Cyndian began publication at 
the village of Monmouth in 1870 in one of 
the upstairs rooms of one of the Ziba Dor- 
win taverns. It was a semi-weekly and 
gained quite a circulation for the advantages 
then presented. Three boys — Paul G. 
Hooper, Jacob and Samuel Magley, then 
ranging in ages from fifteen to seventeen 
years of age — were the owners, proprietors 
and genera! managers. They had a little 
money and secured what was required to get 
a few fonts of type and a hand-press and 
started the publication of a small folio, per- 
haps eight by twelve inches in size. Mr. 
Hooper and Jacob Magley were the office 
force and Samuel was solicitor for job work 
and subscriptions. In the course of a few 
months Charles M. Hill, a Monmouth lad of 
about sixteen years of age, bought the Mag- 
leys' interest and the firm name was changed 
to Hooper & Hill and the publication contin- 
ued until about the latter part of 1872 and 
was discontinued, as the boys all became 
school teachers about that time, and could 
not successfully wield the birch and the quill 
at the same time. ' However, this experience 
was not lost, as later Mr. Hill and Mr. 
Hooper became owners or part owners of 
larger publications. The Cyndian, as we 
are told by one of its subscribers, was an in- 
teresting, non-political publication, directed 
rather toward general news and contained 
an original poem in almost even - issue. The 
poetical wing of the firm is said to have been 
Mr. Hooper. 


The Star News was a non-political semi- 
monthly paper, started by the Snow Broth- 
ers — Earl and Horace — on the 14th day of 

July, 1894. It was printed on a seven and a 
half by eleven Kelsey hand-press :or over 
two years. In November, 1896. the Weekly 
World presses and job office was purchased 
and the plant and paper enlarged. This pa- 
per was printed at the comer of Monroe' and 
Fifth streets until May, 1S97, al which time 
it was removed into an office elected for its 
use on North Second street, in which its job- 
office is now operated. When this paper 
was started the eldest of the brothers — Earl 
— was thirteen and the younger — Horace — 
was but nine years old. These brothers con- 
tinued the publication of the Star News for 
nearly ten years — the last number appearing 
as Volume X, No. 46, in May, 1904. After 
receiving a copy of one of the early issues of 
the paper a representative of "The Trade 
Press," a practical printers' magazine, pub- 
lished at Chicago, called at the Star News 
office to see the boys and their outfit. In the 
October issue of "The Trade Press," in 
1895, appeared the following notice, as re- 
ported by the Press representative : 

"The town of Decatur, Indiana, claims to 
have the youngest newspaper publishers in 
the country. They are the Snow Brothers — 
Earl, who is thirteen years of age, and Hor- 
ace, who is but nine. They have published 
the Star News regularly every two weeks 
since July 14, 1894. These boys do all of 
the writing, composition and press work and 
are very successful in soliciting ads, which 
are set in the most original sort of ways. 
They are readers of the Trade Press and it 
is their ambition to some day be able to pub- 
lish a trade paper, an 'awful big one,' like 
the referee." The Star News reached a 
subscription list of about four hundred and 
fifty and had subscribers in nine different 
states, and exchanges in Toronto, Canada, 



and Bombay, India. The purpose of the 
parents of these brothers was to encourage 
the boys in the habit of reading and mental 
improvement. Also to give them at first 
hand an opportunity to become practical 
printers and newspaper men. As a result 
the younger, Horace H., devotes his entire 
time to job printing, having recently greatly 
enlarged his facilities by adding new and 
modern machinery and equipment. His 
work favorably compares with the best seen 
in the city. The elder brother, Earl E., se- 
cured and accepted a position as reporter on 
the Evening Journal, a position in which he 
served successfully for several years. He is 
now local staff correspondent for the In- 
dianapolis News, the Muncie Star and the 
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. The purpose 
for which the Star News was established 
having been fully accomplished, the paper 
was discontinued at about the tenth year of 
its existence without ever missing an issue 
on the day of publication. 


The Daily Evening News was the second 
daily newspaper of any continuance more 
than a few weeks published in the county. It 
was started June 3, 1891, by Patrick J. Bobo 
and Edward Martin in one of the upstairs 
back rooms over the present Democrat office, 
on east side of Second street. It was a six- 
column folio, with patent inside printed from 
telegraphic plate. The local matter was 
printed on the Democrat press, then owned 
by Norval Blackburn. The partnership con- 
tinued but a few months, when Mr. Bobo 
became proprietor and publisher. The office 
was then removed to the Wei fry building on 
the east side of Second street across from 

the court house, and new machinery and 
presses added to the equipment. The Daily 
Evening News was non-political, though it 
was not slow to express its ideas on any 
civic question under consideration by the 
city council or any constituted corporation 
or firm operating in the city. In May, 1893, 
it suspended publication as a daily. The 
same publisher at once started the Weekly 


The Weekly World was started on the 
12th day of May, 1893, its publisher using 
the same machinery that had published the 
Daily Evening News. At first it was an 
eight-page, four-column folio, but was sub- 
sequently changed to a two-column pam- 
phlet of from thirty to fifty pages as the ad- 
vertising and the news matter from time to 
time demanded. This publication was con- 
tinued until November, 1896, and suspend- 
ed, the job office material and presses sold to 
the publishers of the Star News and the sub- 
scription list to the Decatur Democrat. The 
later issues of the Weekly World were very 
outspoken as to some of the existing condi- 
tions in Decatur. However, it may be said 
in all fairness that Mr. Bobo had few equals 
as a pointed descriptive writer and never for 
a moment countenanced some of the shades 
of immorality in certain classes of the com- 
munity that have in many subsequent in- 
stances escaped the notice of more recent 
publishers of Decatur newspapers. 


The Decatur News, an independent seven- 
column folio, was started on the 20th day of 
February, 1898, in the Niblick-Allison' 



building on East Monroe street by Nerval 
Blackburn. The circulation of this weekly 
publication reached near the thousand mark 
at the time of Mr. Blackburn's death on the 
15th day of January, 1901. The paper was 
disposed of at administrator's sale and went 
to the control of B. F. Kizer, who conducted 
it for about a year and a half, to June, 1902, 
when it suspended publication. Mr. Black- 
burn, the former editor and owner of the De- 
catur Democrat, believing that he was advo- 
cating a just cause in opposing some irregu- 
larities in certain county offices, started the 
Decatur News and at once began the execu- 
tion of his purpose of bringing the delin- 
quents to an account of their stewardship as 
public officers. After much delay and a num- 
ber of lawsuits being filed and judgments 
rendered against the delinquent defendants, 
the county board of commissioners appointed 
a committee of three — the county attorney, 
who was serving during part of the "sleight- 
of-hand" performance; the then county au- 
ditor, in whose office there was a fire started 
in a bunch of road receipts, which after- 
wards proved to contain some receipts with 
numbers raised in many instances from 
cents to dollars, and the third member of the 
committee a conservative citizen of Decatur, 
whose integrity was unquestioned, who had 
served as a deputy county clerk and had a 
good general knowledge of public records. 
This committee made its report under oath 
which virtually substantiated all the allega- 
tions made by the publisher of- the Decatur 
News. Mr. Kizer, the second owner of the 
News, was a good scholar, a forceful writer, 
but was not a practical newspaper man, and 
let the patronage of the paper pass from its 
support without any apparent power to hold 
or increase its circulation or influence. 

Committee's report, made August 28, 

"To the Honorable Board of County Com- 
missioners of Adams County, Indiana : 
"Gentlemen — We, the undersigned, your 
committee, appointed to investigate alleged 
irregularities in relation to road tax and road 
receipts of Adams county, Indiana, beg leave 
to report that we have investigated the mat- 
ter as fully as possible and have made an 
examination and comparison of the follow- 
ing records of papers covering the years 
1892, 1893, ! ^94 an( l ^95, namely: Tax 
duplicates, treasurer's register of road re- 
ceipts, road lists issued by the auditor to 
various township trustees, and what road re- 
ceipts were found on file in the auditor's of- 
fice. We find discrepancies between the 
amounts of road tax charged on the tax du- 
plicate and the receipts issued thereon; that 
some of the receipts show unmistakable evi- 
dence of having been altered, after having 
been issued, while others indicate that they 
have been issued for amounts in excess of 
taxes charged, and still others were issued 
to persons whose names we fail to find on 
the tax duplicate. A full memorandum of 
our investigation, which is made a part of 
this report, is herewith submitted in book 

"R. K. Erwin, 
"Irvin Brandyberry, 


"Decatur, Indiana, August 27, 1S96. 
"Subscribed and sworn to before me this 
28th day of August, 1896. 

"R. S. Peterson, Notary- Public." 


In October, 1894, the machinery, presses 
and office of the Winchester Democrat were 



removed to Decatur and placed in the Glass 
building, on North Second street, and a 
joint stock company formed of forty shares 
for the publication of a newspaper in Deca- 
tur. That paper was named the Democratic 
Press, with Lew G. Ellingham as owner of 
twenty-one shares and the other shares dis- 
tributed among twelve others, among whom 
were six acting county officers, no one of 
whom. held more than three shares of stock. 
The ultimate purpose of this publication was 
to control the political field and secure the 
public patronage as offered by the county 
offices. This required but a little over a 
year and a half of the combined efforts of the 
Press management. In August, 1S96, the 
Press Company purchased the Decatur Dem- 
ocrat and transferred its subscription list to 
that paper and discontinued the publication 
of the Democratic Press with Volume II, 
No. 96, on the 13th day of August, 1896. 
With that date the Decatur Democrat ceased 
to exist. The new management changed the 
name of the paper to that of The Democrat, 
a name the weekly still retains. As to the 
immediate cause of the suspension of owner- 
ship of the Decatur Democrat by Mr. Black- 
burn there are several opinions, one of the 
most prevalent, perhaps, is that of over-con- 
fidence without the careful oversight of the 
minor details of the newspaper business. 


The Independent was started in 1875 by 
A. J. Hill, the former editor of the Decatur 
Eagle. The editorials of the first issue of 
the Decatur Democrat were offensive to Mr. 
Hill, who started the Independent perhaps 
as much to be represented in his community 
as for any other motive. The paper had but 

a distributing office in Decatur, as its local 
news and advertising was sent to Fort 
Wayne for composition. It was a seven- 
column folio, the one side plate matter, the 
other such local news and editorials as were 
furnished by its editor. Mr. Hill, it will be 
remembered, was for a number of years the 
editor and owner of the Decatur Eagle, a 
weekly paper published in Decatur. When 
he went to the army in 1863 the plant was 
leased to other parties and last to Callen & 
Hudgel, who continued the publication until 
Mr. Hill's return in 1865. Not since the 
Eagle or its successors have been published 
have there been two more forceful writers 
connected with these papers than Dan J. Cal- 
len and A. J. Hill. They never feared to 
tell the truth, lest some "cheap sport" would 
expose some sneaking, immoral act of theirs. 
They could and did publish the news. In 
politics they never made "fish" of one man 
and "fowl" of another, or take his money with 
one hand and drive a political dirk into his 
heart with the other. Forbearance draws 
the curtain before the scene of some of those 
more recent in the editorial field. The editor 
of the Independent for many years resided 
in Decatur and was one of the local staff 
correspondents of several of the larger city 
papers. Mr. Callen, after leaving Decatur, 
returned to Celina, Ohio, and conducted one 
of the local papers for several years. The 
following descriptive article as regards 
"Grady's Great Shows" may give some idea 
of his style of writing: 

grady's great shows. 

"On the first day of this month Grady's 
colossal show struck this town nnd showed. 
It was not a very propitious day for an ex- 



hibition of any kind. It was entirely too 
cool. We are in the habit of associating the 
appearance of shows with the good old sum- 
mer time, when it is possible for a person to 
wear about twenty pounds less clothing than 
is deemed necessary for comfort during the 
winter months. However, I took this show 
in from 'a to izzard.' I stagged it. That is, 
I didn't take my girl, although she is very 
fond of strange animals, and used to think 
that I was 'it'. I asked her to marry me 
once. She said 'not on your tin-type, but I'll 
be your sister.' This is her exact and some- 
what classical language, and I concluded it 
to be a refusal. So 1 told her I was slightly 
overstocked with sisters, but if it was all the 
same to her that she might be my grand- 
mother. Since then I've been going to shows 
by myself and kindly permitting her to re- 
main at home alone. Early in the afternoon 
a careful observer might have seen me slow- 
ly sauntering out to the show grounds by the 
Fornax mills. It was the coolest and rawest 
August day I ever saw. We have several of 
that kind every fall. I first arrived at what 
is technically known as the 'side show,' A 
large smooth-faced man stood on a box in 
front of the tent. Every once in a while and 
sometimes oftener he'd yell out: 'Here's 
the place to see the snake charmer, the 
dwarf and the great Russian giant. This 
brave battle-scarred veteran of a hundred 
fiercely contested actions owes his escape to 
a rapid application of the soles of his pedal 
extremities to a widely separated section of 
the Orient as the length of his legs would 
permit. Get your tickets and walk right in. 
Only a dime, one-tenth of a dollar, or ten 
cents.' I paid the price and went in out of 
the cool fierce wind. After I got in there I 
had that peculiar feeling of a man who has 

attended a sale of uncalled-for express mat- 
ter and bought a large box labeled 'watches.' 
There was nothing there fit to look at. I 
saw several ugly old girls roosting around on 
boxes, offering indecent pictures for sale. I 
also saw the giant and the dwarf. Nearly 
everybody overlooked them. The giant was 
the smallest specimen of his kind in exist- 
ence, while the dwarf has the unique dis- 
tinction of being the biggest dwarf in the 
world. About the time everybody got dis- 
gusted and was preparing to sneak out a dis- 
reputable looking villain got upon a box and 
motioned the men to come near him. Then 
he said that just back of him there was a sort 
of private show designed for men only. 
That settled it for me. I didn't care to see 
anything that was not fit for a woman to 
look at. However, I did go in just to see 
what men were so lost to all sense of decency 
as to attend a performance of that descrip- 
tion. Then I went over to the big show. 
There was a barker in front of the tent, who 
upon seeing me approach, bawled out : 
'Here's the place to feast your learned optics 
on a mammoth combination of strange, 
unique, rare and curious birds, beasts and 
reptiles, gathered together at immense cost 
from the ice-bound shores of northern 
Greenland to the torrid swamps of equa- 
torial Africa. Only fifty cents — children 
twenty-five.' Once more I dug up and en- 
tered. And once more I had that feeling of 
a man who has innocently married a woman 
with false teeth, false hair and a wooden leg. 
I saw a water buffalo, a sacred bull and three 
or four fat camels. I also saw a large ele- 
phant storing away new cut hay in an aper- 
ture in the lower part of his abundant face. 
For a while I was lost in admiration of his 
lovely complexion. An ordinary elephant 



has a complexion like a Mexican adobe — 
generally has about twenty-five square yards 
of it. In one of the cages I noticed a me- 
dium-sized baboon languishing in solitary 
confinement. He seemed unsocial and hard 
to approach as a telegraph operator. No 
smile of welcome illuminated his melancholy 
mug. He looked as though his parents 
might have come from Cork. He was en- 
gaged in an entomological research and was 
confining his field of activities to his own 
person. I then went into the circus depart- 
ment and bought a reserved seat and sat 
down on it. The circus was very ordinary. 
I saw several bareback riders. They were 
riding big fat stage horses which entered the 
ring in a lope but soon slowed down to a 
walk. The only redeeming feature of the 
entire circus was the introduction of the 
slack-wire performer, the Madamoiselle 
Bombooselle, and the Japanese specialties in 
juggling. Of course there were the usual 
spring-board exercises, in which four or five 
thinly clad individuals ran down a slanting 
plank and turned somersaults over an alli- 
gator and some other animals. When the 
circus came to an end every one who had a 
dime and felt like parting with it was per- 
mitted to stay for the concert. I borrowed 
a dime and stayed. I've been sorry of 'it 
ever since. A girl dressed in invisible silk 
came out and bowed to the intelligent audi- 
ence, spit on her hands and jumped up on a 
platform. Then somebody started some- 
thing that was intended for music. As soon 
as the girl noticed it she began to kick and 
grab at something up over her head. I asked 
the man from whom I had borrowed the 
dime if he knew what ailed her. He said 
that she was dancing the skirt dance. Then 

we had a few songs and were hustled out 
into the cold wind. The show was over." 


About fifty years ago the Decatur Ea'gle 
began its existence in a small single-story, 
two-room building partly plank and partly 
logs. This house was located on inlot No. 
54, on the east side of Second street, near 
where the First National Bank is situated. 
In November, 1874, its publication was sus- 
pended and the Decatur Democrat was is- 
sued in its stead. In August, 1896, the De- 
catur Democrat ceased publication and the 
Democrat appeared in its place, and is now 
an eight-page, six-column folio, with a good 
circulation. The trend of these publications 
has generally been Democratic, but at cer- 
tain times they r contain a sufficient number 
of Republican announcements to impress the 
reader with some doubt as to what the 
"Democrat" means. The Decatur Eagle, 
for the last nine or ten years of its publica- 
tion, was owned and operated by Captain A. 
J. Hill, who sold it in November, 1874, to 
Joseph McGonagle, who by agreement with 
the Decatur Herald publishers, discontinued 
the Decatur Eagle and started the Decatur 
Democrat. The Herald at once suspended 
publication. In 1879 tue Decatur Democrat 
passed to the ownership of S. Ray Williams, 
who conducted its publication until August, 
1 88 1, when A. J. Hill became its owner and 
editor for a short time, when it was sold 
to the firm of Roth & Cummons, of Bluff- 
ton, who operated the paper until the fall of 
18S3. at which time Norval Blackburn be- 
came its editor and proprietor. As such he 
continued until August, 1S96, at which time 



the office and plant was sold to the Demo- 
cratic Press Company, a rival publication, 
of which Lew G. Ellingham held a control- 
ling interest. The Decatur Democrat of- 
fice was rearranged, new and modern furni- 
ture was placed in the front office and the 
surroundings given a metropolitan appear- 

Its offices have been in a number of loca- 
tions, but its present one is on the east side 
of Second street near Madison street. This 
location it has continuously occupied for 
more than twenty-five years. The office 
from time to time has undergone valuable 
improvements — the first that of setting type 
by machinery — a simplex machine being put 
in about 1900. Later a Merganthaler lino- 
type, which makes the type as needed for 
use, and greatly facilitates the composition 
work of the office. In 1906, the motive pow- 
er was changed from a gas engine to an 
electric motor, a hot air furnace was put in 
use as a heating plant and a new and im- 
proved Whitlock press was added to the me- 
chanical department of the office. In con- 
nection with its weekly publication, The 
Democrat, a daily paper, is published, known 
as the Decatur Daily Democrat. The first 
issue of this daily paper was published on 
the 12th day of January, 1903, and is now 
in its fifth volume. In the spring of 1906 
it encouraged a diamond ring contest which 
temporarily increased its subscription list. 
In the summer of 1906 its competitor, the 
Decatur Evening Journal, suspended publica- 
tion and its subscription list was transferred 
to the Decatur Daily -Democrat, which has 
materially increased its circulation. The 1 it— 
. erary wants of the country people can no 
longer be satisfied by the weekly paper, as a 

consequence, the country -daily has a good 
rural route circulation. 


The Decatur Journal made its appearance' 
on the 1 6th day of September, 1879, w i tn 
D. G. M. Trout as editor and George S. 
Staunton as publisher. The publication was 
a seven-column weekly folio, Republican in 
politics, and the second really Republican 
newspaper published in the county, the 
Young American being the first. The Jour- 
nal office was located in the Welfry build- 
ing on the east side of Second street, across 
from the public square. This publication has 
frequently changed location and managers. 
Mr. Trout sold his interest to E. A. Phillips, 
who sold to Shaffer Peterson, and he to E. 

D. Moffett ; he to B. W. Sholty, and he to 
Kirby & Andrews; they to William E. Ash- 
craft, who put in the first steam motive 
power press used in Decatur ; this was done 
in the fall of 1892. He then sold the plant 
to Douglas & Poiter, of Plainfield, Indiana. 
They disposed of the plant to Frank E. 
Everetts in 1S97, wno so 'd the property to 
C. M. Kenyon in February, 1898. Mr. Ken- 
yon made several important improvements 
and changes in the office and sold the outfit 
to Harry Daniels in 1900, and in June, 1903, 
he again became the owner and editor of not 
only the Decatur Weekly Journal, but also 
the Decatur Evening Journal, which was 
started in the latter part of 1897 by Frank 

E. Everetts. Mr. Daniels published the 
morning and evening editions of the Jour- 
nal. The morning edition was intended in 
particular for the rural route delivery. In 
the fall of 1906 Mr. Kenyon discontinued 



the publication of the papers and the prop- 
erty went into the hands of a receiver, who 
eventually sold it to a joint stock company, 
which is now publishing the Decatur Weekly 
Journal. For the last several years the Jour- 
nal has had a fight for its existence, per- 
haps for the reason that there has been some 
fierce fights within the ranks of the Repub- 
lican party in the county over the federal ap- 
pointments, and at times, at least, its col- 
umns have been adverse to the success- 
ful candidates for congressional honors. In 
some counties where the administration 
party is in the minority the postmasters have 
operated the party's political paper. Of late 
years that is the exception in Adams county. 
This paper has had a number of able writers 
and had not its party devoted its energies to 
sectional grievances its efforts would have 
produced effective results much greater than 
it has yet attained. At this time the Decatur 
Weekly Journal is under the control and 
ownership of a joint stock company, with 
P. L. Andrews as editor and general man- 

The veteran newspaper man of Adams 
county is without doubt Edward A. Phillips. 
He in partnership with Winfield S. Congle- 
ton started the Decatur Free Press, which 
was the immediate predecessor of the Deca- 
tur Weekly Journal. In November, 1883, 
in an edition of the Journal, while owned 
and operated by Mr. Phillips, appeared a 
sample of his journalistic composition that 
will give some idea of him as a writer. That 
was about the closing year of the newspaper 
battles in Adams county and was entitled : 
"A Sad Scene. — Last Friday just as the 
court house clock had ceased to strike the 
hour of twelve a solemn orocession might 

have been seen emerging from the court- 
house door. In front and the saddest of ail 
marched ex- Auditor Christen and ex-Clerk 
Blackburn, who had just then turned over 
the keys of their offices to their successors. 
They were followed by a number of our 
most prominent citizens, among whom were 
S. S. Roth, of the Democrat; our reporter, 
W. S. Congleton; R. B. Allison, president 
of the Old Adams County Bank ; John King, 
Jr., and a number of others who sympa- 
thized with the bereaved. They started 
thence sonth to Court street, thence west to 
Third street, thence north to Madison street, 
thence to the own pump. This line of march 
was repeated three times, making about four 
miles traveled. The procession then moved 
with uncovered heads to the abstract office 
of John Schurger for the purpose of learn- 
ing whether the titles of Christen and Black- 
burn were clear to 'mansions in the skies.' 
Schurger seemed to realize the awful re- 
sponsibility resting on him and with a down- 
cast look began searching the records. Hero 
was the most trying scene of our life. * * * 
Never did we witness such scenes as occurred 
in the space of one hour. Congleton be- 
came speechless and fainted away and laid 
in the back room for dead. Tears rolled 
down over the cheeks of the hard-hearted 
Roth until it became necessary to secure a 
sprinkling can. King turned as white as a 
sheet and was not known by his best 
friends. The desperately wicked and hard- 
hearted man of the Journal was forced to 
secure stimulants, bathe his temples and fan 
himself in order to keep in a condition to sit 
up. All this time Christen and Blackburn sal 
upon the sofa embraced in each other's arms. 
with their heads resting upon each other - 
shoulders. Soon a bright smile was sren t' 1 



cover Schurger's countenance, which caused 
his inouth to spread from ear to ear. The 
Journal man was first to take in the situa- 
tion. He then knew that ail was right; that 
the records were clear and title good. Schur- 
eer who seemed to he all covered over with 
glory, then read the abstract in a loud, clear 
and sweet voice. It was: 'After a careful 
and complete search of the records kept by 
both of you I find that they are all correct in 
every particular. Your conduct while in 
office has been such as to make ycur title 
clear to mansions in the skies or anywhere 
else you may see fit to emigrate to.' Here 
the joy of all became so expressive that 
Schurger's voice could net be heard. And 
from the awful stillness, which could be 
heard for squares away, the scene was 
changed to a regular pandemonium. Christ- 
en tried to climb the ceiling. Blackburn per- 
sisted in standing on his head and turning 
double somersaults. Allison was on his 
knees before Schurger trying to pray. Roth 
was determined to make a speech like unto a 
jollification meeting, but the noise was so 
great that he could not be heard. He then 
danced a double clog dance and kicked over 
the stove, hugged the stovepipe and the 
Journal man at the same time. Congleton, 
<ur reporter, who had been considered dead, 
came rushing out into the room, shouting at 
the top of his voice, 'By jeru, ain't I happy !' 
He undertook to imitate Roth in his double 
clog dance, but corked himself the first break 
he made and had to be hobbled. The Jour- 
nal man started on the run up the middle of 
the stuet to carry the news to Alary. He 
: as not since been heard from. It is prob- 
able that the excitement was such as to cause 
•••n\ tn ],-, se foj§ sen?eS) if h c e% er had any, and 
•>i his carcass has become food for the 

fishes of the raging Saint Mary's ere this 
time. The marshal was sent for, restored 
order and marched them all to the town 
pump for a drink." 

Edward A. Phillips is the oldest resident 
newspaper man in active service in Adams 
county. In 1876 he first came to live in De- 
catur. The next year he and W. S. Congle- 
ton started the Decatur Free Press, the sec- 
ond Republican newspaper published in the 
county. In 1S80 Mr. Phillips became the 
owner and editor of the Decatur Weekly 
Journal, which then was less than a year 
old. The Journal dates from the starting of 
the Free Press and is in its NNXI volume. 
In 1884 Mr. Phillips sold his interest in the 
paper to Shaffer Peterson and started the 
Geneva Enterprise, which was issued under 
his direction for over two years, when he 
disposed of his interest in that publication 
and returned to Decatur. At the age of 
twelve years he commenced his career as a 
typesetter in the Celina Standard office and 
subsequently worked on the Wabash Plain- 
dealer, the Peru Sentinel and the Fort 
Wayne Sentinel and severai other publica- 
tions. For forty-three years he has found 
employment in a newspaper office, the last 
thirty years of which has been in Adams 
county. He is at this time foreman of the 
circulation and mechanical departments of 
the Decatur Weekly Journal Edward A. 
Phillips was born on the 14th day of Jul}'. 
1852, at Saint Mary's, Ohio. On the 31st 
day of July, 1877, he was married to Miss 
Isabel H. Miesse, a daughter of William 
Miesse, an early tavern-keeper of Decatur. 
To them were bom two sons — William C, 
who is general manager of the Manhattan 
Hotel at Lorain, Ohio, and Charles A., who 



is engaged in the confectionery and res- 
taurant business at Van Wert, Ohio. All 
are Republicans in politics and Methodists 
in religion. Mr. Phillips has seen man}- of 
his early associates in the profession, or 
trade, come and go while he has lived for 
thirty years in the same house in Decatur. 


It has been said that the Adams County 
Times entered the newspaper field ?.s a local 
representative of one of the town trustees in 
the corporation of Berne; that there were 
some differences as to the town's manage- 
ment of paving the streets and constructing 
the sidewalks. John G. Hanna was the first 
publisher of the Times, but soon yielded the 
editorial chair to Calvin Whitwer, who in 
turn gave place to O. V. Borden, its last 
editor. The Adams County Times was a 
spicy six-column folio, semi-weekly for the 
first three months then changed to a weekly 
publication. It dates from March 19, 1901, 
and suspended publication after a continu- 
ance of about seven months. Its subscrip- 
tion list of perhaps about two hundred was 
filled out by the Berne Witness. This paper 
was printed at the Mennonitc Book Concern 
at Berne, which in 1901 was under the con- 
trol of John A. Sprunger, who then was also 
interested in the orphanage in that town. 
The young men who edited this paper show 
evidence of good newspaper ability, but their 
cause was not one of great interest to the 
general reading public and the paper was 
discontinued on the iSth of October, 1901. 


The Berne News i^ a Democratic six-col- 
umn four and eight-page semi-weekly paper, 

which was started on the 21st day of No- 
vember, 1903, in the second story of a little 
frame building on the oouth side of the main 
street in Berne by Hamilton Mercer as ed- 
itor and S. W. Miller as general manager. 
The present location of the News office is 
on the first floor in one of the rooms of the 
People's State Bank building near Main 
street. In the spring of 1904 the News be- 
came the property of Otto M. Ryf, who has 
successfully operated it for more than three 
years. It now has a subscription list of be- 
tween se\ en and eight hundred and is stead- 
ily growing in volume. Mr. Ryf is a young, 
energetic, intelligent resident of Benie, who 
closely guards the interests of the town as 
well as his own, and under his management 
doubtless the News will continue to grow in 
circulation and usefulness. 


The Berne Witness office, as that of many 
other great publishing centers, had a modest 
and unassuming beginning. On the 3d day 
of September, 1896, the first Witness came 
from the press. John Nix, as pressman, and 
Fred Rohrer, as editor and publisher. Tin's, 
the first paper published in Berne, appeared 
as a seven-column folio. Within a year it 
was enlarged to a five-column quarto. In 
April, 1S99, it was changed to a six-column 
quarto. The next year a German edition 
was published and continued until Novem- 
ber, 1 901. ai which time the two united and 
issued as a semi-weekly, in which form the 
paper is now delivered to its readers. The 
Witness office was first on the second floor 
of the Sprunger & Lehman Company cloth- 
ing store building, where it continued for 
several years. Its newspaper press at first 



was a second-hand Washington hand press, 
a good press of its kind, but very slow in its 
operations. In June, 1900, the Mennonite 
Hook Concern had most of its printing done 
at Elkhart, Indiana. A satisfactory propo- 
sition was made this company by Mr. Rohrer 
and he secured the work of printing its pub- 
lications, consisting of a large list of tracts, 
weekly and semi-weekly and monthly publi- 
cations. That this work be done properly 
the Witness plant was enlarged by the addi- 
tion of about three thousand dollars' worth 
of new material and machinery. The office 
was then removed to the Champion block, 
the business office, presses, folders, stitchers, 
etc., on the first floor and all the large up- 
stairs part of the building is used as a com- 
posing room. In November, 1900, Mr. 
Rohrer formed a partnership with Henry M. 
Reuser, William Narr and David C. Welty, 
he himself retaining a half interest in the 
property. In 1895 a book bindery was 
added 10 the equipment, and one without any 
qualification can say that the Berne Witness 
plant is now the best equipped for newspaper 
and general printing of any office in the 
county. By those who have had an oppor- 
tunity to know it is said that it is the best 
equipped office between Richmond and Fort 
Wayne. In May, 1906, the firm heretofore 
existing was dissolved and the enterprise 
was incorporated with a capital stock of 
twelve thousand dollars. At present the 
business is under the management of three 
directors — David C. Welty, Henry M. 
Reusser and Fred Rohrer. The force of the 
«i rtrqess office, exclusive of its directors, is 
eighteen employes at this time. On a recent 
' ••»( to this office the writer hereof noticed a 
1 if of printed newspaper sheets just from 
the pu'ss. Upon inquiry he was told that 

this was one quarterly seventeen thousand 
five hundred edition of a certain paper print- 
ed at this office. In a recent report of the 
postmaster general as to the largest mailing 
postoffices in the United States it was shown 
that there were four hundred and twenty- 
seven given a very high rating. Of the 
twenty-two in Indiana Berne was given as 
one of' the number. This may not be won- 
dered at when it is said that the Witness 
alone uses from two to four carloads of pi- 
per each month in the publication of its 
papers. The list of its periodical publica- 
tions and their circulaton as given us by their 
editor is as follows : 

The Berne Witness, eight to sixteen 
pages, twice a week; 1,475 copies. English 
and German. 

Christlicher Bundesbote, eight 
weekly ; 2,550 copies. German. 

Der Bruederbotschafter, eight 
weekly; 925 copies. German. 

The Mennonite, eight pages, weekly; 925 
copies. English. 

Der Kinderbote, four pages, semi-month- 
ly; 2,375 copies. German and English. 

Der Heilsbote, four pages, monthly; 650 
copies. German. 

Der Missionsfreund, four pages, monthly ; 
1,025 copies. German. 

The Indiana Issue, eight to sixteen pages, 
monthly; 4,000 to 5,000 copies. English. 

Sontagschul-Lektionen, thirty-two pages, 
quarterly; 17,800 copies. German. 

The Berne Witness as one of the papers 
named is printed partly in German, using the 
German type, and partly in English. In local 
matters the Witness is a staunch Prohibition 
advocate. But in other elections, particular- 
ly state and congressional matters, it has 
strong Republican tendencies. Fred Rohrer, 





the editor and publisher, is very frank in the 
expression of his beliefs, which constantly 
arouse his enemies and make his friends 
more firm and ardent in his support. 


The daily newspaper field in Adams 
county has but a short history. Although 
the reading public could scarcely spare its 
daily papers it has not bestowed the patron- 
age upon them that their efforts merit. The 
free rural delivery system has brought to 
their patronage quite an additional list of 
readers. The earliest daily publication in 
Adams county was started in September, 
187S, by Winfield S. Congleton, who then 
was publisher of the Decatur Free Press. 
The general election time was approaching 
and there seemed to be a demand for a daily 
paper to advance the political interests of 
certain Republican and independent candi- 
dates for county offices. This daily ran for 
a month or six weeks and was discontinued 
after the October election of 1878. The 
next daily publication was the Geneva Tri- 
umph, which was started in December, 1880, 
by C. S. Thompson and continued until the 
middle of June, iSSi, at which time the pa- 
per was suspended and the plant, which was 
operated by a small steam engine, was re- 
moved to Shane's Crossing, Ohio. This was 
a six-column, non-political daily publica- 
tion operated in the old Gallery building on 
the east side of High street, perhaps on inlot 
No. 153. The Weekly Triumph preceded 
this publication sever;:! years. The files of 
these publications were left with Charles D. 
Porter when the office removed from the 
countv, but were destroyed in the Geneva 
fire of 1805. In 1884 there was a daily issue 

of the Decatur Journal, published during the 
Richards- Baxto-Worst murder trial by E. 
A. Phillips, and the next year the Decatur 
Democrat issued a daily during the county 
fair week. In 1900 the Democrat again 
issued a daily edition for a short time, la 
1891 William E. Ashcraft published a daily 
issue of the Decatur Journal during the trial 
of Lige Holland, the negro charged with the 
murder of Daisy Reynolds. The first effort 
at a separate and distinct daily publication 
was that of the Daily Evening News, which 
began on the 3d day of June, 1891. This 
paper was a six-column folio, was published 
by Patrick J. Bobo and Edward Martin in 
one of the rooms in the Niblick block at the 
corner of Madison and Second streets. The 
firm of Bobo & Martin was soon dissolved 
and Mr. Bobo became owner and editor. The 
plant was then removed to the Wei fry build- 
ing east of the public square, new machinery 
was added and the daily regularly issued 
until May, 1893, at which time the daily was 
discontinued and the Weekly World began 
publication, which continued until Novem- 
ber, 1896, and suspended publication. On 
the 1 6th of September, 1895, Norval Black- 
burn, then owner of the Decatur Democrat, 
began the publication of the Daily Demo- 
crat, which was continued until the 9th day 
of January, 1897, and suspended for "want 
of sufficient patronage and support." In 
May, 189S, a special edition of the Democrat 
was published as a daily during the Method- 
ist Episcopal conference which was in session 
in Decatur at that time. Late in the fall of 
1897 the Decatur Evening Journal was 
started by Frank E. Everett, then the owner 
and editor of the Decatur Weekly Journal. 
The weekly was and is a Republican paper, 
but the daily was usually independent in it^ 



expressions and at once secured a good cir- 
culation and by many of the daily readers it 
wras considered the best daily yet published 
in Decatur. In February, 1S98, it was sold 
u> C. M. Kenyon, who directed its publica- 
tj';n until June, 1900, at which time Harry 
Daniels became its owner and editor. He 
iiuide some valuable improvements and pub- 
lished also a morning edition, which was in- 
tended to meet the demands of the rural 
route patronage. In the columns of his pub- 
lications appeared from time to time his 
"Minor Observations," which were common- 
ly witty satires on the extieme fads of the 
community in its various social and business 
phases. This young editor is now holding a 
good position with the Chicago Inter Ocean. 
In 1903 C. M. Kenyon again became the 
owner and editor of the Journal plant ; put 
in a linotype typesetting machine and made 
other changes in the mechanical department 
of the office. He continued the publication 
of the several editions of the Journal until 
the 3d day of July, 1906, at which time, 
from various combined causes, the dailies 
suspended publication. On the 12th day of 
January, 1903, the Decatur Daily Democrat 
was started by Lew G. Effingham, its pres- 
ent owner and publisher, and it has since 
been regularly issued. At its starting it was 
a six-column folio, and so continued until 
the nth day of March, 1907, at which time 
it was enlarged to a seven-column folio. It 
has a good rural route circulation and its 
share of advertising. This paper is superior 
m print and appearance to most daily papers 
published in the smaller cities. Its politics, 
Iikc the Democrat,' is commonly Democratic, 
"ut at times it expresses some very liberal 
views on the political issues between the two 
Jl'cai political parties. 


In July, 1885, the Geneva Enterprise was 
started by E. A. Phillips, formerly of the 
Decatur Journal. Since 18S3 the Independ- 
ent, then published by H. S. Thomas, had 
circulated from its Geneva office. This pub- 
lication was very unsatisfactory to a certain 
part of the reading people of Geneva and 
vicinity and the Enterprise received its share 
of support at the start. Its first issue had 
hardly left the press when a spicy contro- 
versy began as to individual rights and po- 
litical views of the two contending editors. 
In the following November Mr. Thomas 
sold his plant to E. B. Detter and a young . 
man from Hartford City and gave up the 
fight. The new proprietors gave the paper 
a new name, the Geneva Herald, changed its 
policy and continued its publication until 
early in 1887, when the Enterprise sold out 
to them and suspended publication. Within 
this year Lew G. Ellingham became the 
owner of the Geneva Herald. 


The Geneva Triumph was the first news- 
paper started south of Decatur in Adams 
county. It was a weekly at first, but the last 
six months of its publication it was a daily 
paper. This printing outfit was also the 
first steam power press in the county and 
dated from April, 1876. It was located in 
the Watson gallery building on irifot No. 
154, on High street in Geneva. Its publish- 
er, C. K. Thompson, brought this printing 
plant from Fountain City, Indiana, at the 
instance of the citizens of Geneva, largely 
through the influence of William Fought 
and Jerry Cartwright, who aided materially 



in seeming the required donation for its re- 
moval to Geneva. This publication was suc- 
cessfully operated for over four years and 
suspended in June, 1SS1, and removed to 
Shane's Crossing, Ohio. The paper gained 
a good subscription list and had its publisher 
devoted the proper attention to his paper he 
might today be operating the largest publi- 
cation in the county. It was independent in 
politics, but usually gave the news of the 
day without fear or favor. This publication 
will be remembered as the second daily and 
the first steam power plant in the county. 


The Geneva News was started soon after 
the suspension of the Triumph in the sum- 
mer of 1 881. Its first issue appeared in 
August with Alva Roberts and William H. 
Fought as editors. The editorials, locals 
and advertising matter were sent each week 
to Fort Wayne for composition and press 
work, and the printed paper sent to Gen- 
eva for publication. In the fall of 18S2 Mr. 
Roberts sold his interest in the paper to 
Adam Cully and the News office was there- 
after in the Cully building, then used as an 
agricultural store. Mr. Cully placed his son, 
J. C. Cully, in charge of the paper and until 
its sale was one of its publishers. In May, 
18S3. the paper, good will and subscription 
list was sold to a newspaper publisher of 
Wiltshire, Ohio, by the name of H. S. Thom- 
as, who at once removed his plant from Will- 
shire to Geneva, discontinued the News and 
started the Independent. The News was 
a seven-column folio, news)- and aggressive 
in its editorials and when discontinued had 
about three hundred and fiftv subscribers. 


The Independent was a fcur-column 
quarto at first, but subsequently changed to a 
six-column folio. It was started in the 
spring of 1883 by H. S. Thomas in one of 
the Pyle buildings on High street. For a 
time it had a good patronage, but its editor 
seemed to have some "high" ideals on mor- 
als, temperance, etc., that gave offense to a 
large number of the readers of his paper. 
So much dissatisfaction in time developed • 
that the Enterprise was started that some of 
his editorials be answered. His patronage 
diminished until in the fall of 1885 he sold 
the plant to E. B. Detter and a young man 
from Hartford City, whose name we have 
been unable to learn. This new firm changed 
the management of the paper and named it 
the Geneva Herald, a name it still retains. 


The Geneva Herald was built upon the 
"ruins" of the Independent and the Geneva 
News. The successive owners of this paper 
are E. B. Detter, Lew G. Ellingham, W. 
Fred Pyle, O. G. Rayn and C. O. 
Rayn, the- present owner and ed- 
itor. The Geneva Herald was started 
as an independent weekly news- 
paper and has so continued to the present 
time. It has somewhat expressed the views 
of its editors in their preferences toward the 
leading political parties, but has always been 
an advocate of strict morality and regard for 
the state and national laws. This property 
has been in the possession of the Rayn 
brothers for more than fifteen years and has 
never in that time missed an issue. The 
present owner has steadily improved the me- 



chanicai department with new and modern this time the Herald is a six-column quarto, 
machinery. In 1896 a simplex typesetting with its share of advertising and a good gen- 
machine was added to the equipment. At eral circulation. 


At this time there are four incorporated 
towns in Adams county. In relation to their 
size they are Decatur, Berne, Geneva and 
Monroe. They are all situated on the Grand 
Rapids & Indiana Railroad, which was 
opened for passenger traffic on Christmas 
day, 1 87 1. Monroe and Decatur are much 
older than the others, as they were both 
platted towns before 1850. Geneva is of 
more recent date. The fiist mention of 
Geneva upon the town plat records of the 
county appears in an addition of nineteen 
lots platted by George W. Pyle and put on 
record March 29, 1877. The town of Alex- 
ander, on the Limberlost, a half mile south 
cf Pyle's addition, was laid out in July, 
183S, and contained twenty-eight lots. The 
town of Buffalo, which is immediately west 
and north of Alexander, was laid out in July, 
I ^53> by David Studabaker about the time 

that the Cincinnati, Union City & Fort 
Wayne Railroad was cut out through the 
county. Mr. Studabaker subsequently laid 
out several additions to Buffalo. The origi- 
nal plat of Buffalo contained thirty lots. The 
town of Monroe had its beginning in De- 
cember, 1847. This town is situated on the 
township line just twelve miles from the 
north and the same distance from the south 
end of the county. It was platted by John 
Everhart and had eighty lots in its original 
plat. In 1850 it was in a lively contest for 
the county seat. The vote of the county 
standing Decatur 474, Monroe 343, Mon- 
mouth 14 and Pleasant Mills 2 votes. Berne 
is the youngest of the four towns and has the 
largest number of fine residences and good 
business rooms of any town of its age in the 


Decatur is situated on the west side of the 
Saint Mary's river, six miles south cf the 
Allen count)' line and about six miles west 
01 tne east line of Indiana. Its original plat 
contained one hundred and seventy-seven 
tots, which were sixty-six by one hundred 
MM thirty-two feet in size. There are four 
'■"'< and west streets — Monroe, Madison, 
.» rfftrsoti and Adams — and five streets ex- 

tending north and south. They were Front, 
Second. Third, Fourth and Fifth streets. 
This town was laid out by Thomas Johnson 
and Samuel L. Rugg, as proprietors, and 
the plat recorded on the 23d day of June, 
1S36. The southern addition was platted in 
1844 and other additions were soon made. 
The county seminar)' lot is south of the 
water works park and in 1871 was laid out 



in lots from i to 12 to Marshal! street and 
known as the Seminary addition. North of 
the Seminary- addition to the meeting of 
Third and Fifth streets is a part of the ten 
acres of land donated to the county in 1836 
by Samuel L. Rugg to secure the location of 
the county seat at Decatur. In June, 1S75, 
this ground was platted in town lots by 
County Commissioners George W. Luckey, 
George Frank and Benjamin Runyon. At 
the present time the city 01 Decatur is about 
a mile wide and two miles in length. It has 
now arrived at a point in its growth that it 
can. offer more and better inducements to 
capital and manufacturing interests than it 
has ever before been able to do. There were 
forty-three families in Decatur in 1850, with 
a total population of 231 persons. In i860 
there were 483; in 1870, 947: in 1880, 
1,905; in 1890, 3,142; in 1900, 4,142, and at 
the present time about 4.S00. Until 1846 the 
residents of Decatur had to ford the river or 
go to Willshire to cross on a bridge to reach 
the Piqua road. In 1852 the plank road 
company erected the north river bridge and 
Decatur experienced its first good roads. 
Then its real commercial life began. It had 
the county buildings, but Monmouth and 
Pieasant Mills had the advantage of the 
wonderful wave of emigration that was 
coming in over the Piqna road. Decatur at 
once began a period of growth it had never 
before known. 

The town of Decatur was surveyed and 
platted by Jacob Hofer. who built the first 
"—residence in the town. It was located on in- 
lot No. 291, at the comer of From and 
Jackson streets, just east oi the Bosse Opera 
House. It was a log cabin of the pioneer 
type. The first stoic building was also a 
log structure, and was erected at the corner 

of Monroe and Front streets, on inlot No. 
274, where the Waring mitten factory is sit- 
uated. The storekeeper was Henry Reich- 
ard, who came to Decatur from Willshire. 
Ohio, about 1838, and began a store when 
there were but two or three other buildings 
in the town. He did not long remain in De- 
catur as J. D. Nutman, then a young un- 
married man, came in and chose De- 
catur as his field of operations. Fie bought 
out Mr. Reichard's interests and began the 
store business. His energy and business 
ability soon brought him a good trade. In 
a few years, perhaps in 1845, he built a two- 
story frame building at the corner of Second 
and and Monroe streets on inlot No. 57, 
where the Holthouse & Schulte clothing 
store is situated. He eventually accumu- 
lated a fortune, sold his store interests and 
engaged in the banking business. As a re- 
membrance of the store furniture used in 
Mr. Nutman's last store in Decatur the read- 
er has but to step into the grocery depart- 
ment of the Niblick & Company's store on. 
Second street and see some of the broad ash 
board counters and grocery drawers used in 
the Nutman store over fifty years ago. An- 
other of the early merchants in Decatur was 
James Crabbs, whose store was started in 
1845 or 1S46. At that time there were no 
steam mills in the county and lumber was 
scarce and high priced from the slow process 
of making it on the small muley water mills 
along the smaller streams. On inlot No. 
273. on the north side of Monroe street, just 
west of the Burt Flouse corner, may be seen 
one of the oldest store buildings in Decatur. 
Its joists, studding and rafters are hewed 
out. Its plastering lath has been rived as 
was then the custom to rive shingles and 
clapboards for roofing. In 1S72 the lower 

.. ■ » - V 



. - v./ j. 




story of this building was raised and the 
structure otherwise remodeled. The first tav- 
ern in the town was started about 183S by 
James Crabbs, whose first tavern, building 
was logs, but later built some frame addi- 
tions. Its location was the present site of 
the Burt House. Along in the forties Ches- 
ter Burt became the owner of this property 
and in 1852 erected a two-story frame hotel 
building. His first hotel experience, how- 
ever, was in Monmouth. When the plank 
road was built through Decatur Mr. Burt 
changed locations. The first Miesse tavern 
was situated at the corner of Front and Mon- 
roe streets on inlot No. 297 and was the sec- 
ond tavern in town. It was a two-story 
frame that was subsequently removed from 
the lot to the northwest part of town in 
1864, when George A. Dent erected the pres- 
ent two-story brick residence known ,as the 
Dorwin property. This was the second brick 
residence built in Decatur, the Samuel L. 
Rugg residence on lot No. 62, where Schei- 
mann's meat market is located, being the 
first, which was built in 1840. The Closs 
tavern, erected in 1844, by Jacob Closs, was 
the next tavern stand in Decatur. This was 
built at the corner of Second and Monroe 
streets, where the Niblick & Company store 
and the Old Adams County Bank buildings 
are located. This tavern was removed in 
1S72, the one part of which is now a resi- 
dence on Monroe street just west of the 
Christian church and the other part is used 
as U. R. Cramer's wagonmaker shop on lot 
<6 on the north side of Monroe street near 
the river bridge. The first brick business 
room was erected by Joseph and Perry 
t rafebs on the west end of inlot No. 273 at 
Hie comer of old Second and Monroe 
sercete in 1856 or 1857. This building was 

remodeled and another story added about 
five or six years ago and is now used by the 
Winnes Shoe Store, with a hall and office 
rooms above. Another one of the oldest res- 
idence buildings in the city and a fine one in 
its day, is the Joseph Crabbs residence, a 
two-story frame, covered with brackets, 
shutters and ornaments, and located at the 
corner of Second and Jackson streets and 
now occupied by James Niblick. It was built 
in 1855 by Mr. Crabbs. Some other build- 
ings are the jails and court houses. The first 
jail was a hewed log building built in 1S39 
at a cost of about three hundred and twenty- 
five dollars. The first court house was a two- 
story frame, court room below and offices 
above, built at a cost of about one thousand 
six hundred dollars. There were two brick 
buildings erected in 1849, one at the south- 
east corner of the public square and used as 
offices for the county auditor and county 
treasurer, and one at the northeast corner of 
the public square, where the "Whittier's 
Barefoot Eoy*' fountatin is located, that was 
used as the offices of the county recorder and 
the county clerk. These buildings v. ere one- 
story in height and about sixteen by thirty- 
two feet in size. They remained in use until 
the records were removed in 1874 into the 
present court house. The present court house 
was completed in the fall of 1873 at an es- 
timated cost of about one hundred thousand 
dollars. Its corner stone was laid on the 
4th day of July, 1872. under the directions 
and ceremonies of the Odd Fellows and Ma- 
sonic orders. The present county jail was 
built in 1S86 at a cost of about twenty-five 
thousand dollars. In the original proposi- 
tion the owners of the town site of Decatur 
if granted the county seat ottered to donate 
four suitable town lots to the four church de- 



nominations that would first improve them 
by the erection of church buildings. The 
Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and the 
German Reformed Zion Congregation 
availed themselves of this offer. In 1851 the 
Methodist congregation erected its first 
church building in Decatur on inlot 280, 
at the corner of Jackson and Front streets. 
It was a large frame structure and is still 
standing, however it was remodeled and re- 
arranged by William Bosse and made into an 
opera house about 1S9S. In 18S1 a new 
brick structure was begun at the coiner of 
Fifth and Monroe streets and this structure 
was completed the next year. In 1891 a 
neat parsonage was erected. In 1896 a large 
addition was made to the church building 
and class rooms and gallery added. At the 
present time this is the second largest church 
building in the city. The first Presbyterian 
church building was erected in Decatur in 
1854, was a frame and stood about eight 
years and was destroyed by fire. In 1862 
this building was replaced by the first brick 
church building in the county. It was lo- 
cated on lot 330 at the "five points" of the 
intersection of Second, Adams, Mercer and 
Winchester streets. In 1905 fire again vis- 
ited this congregation's church buiiding, de- 
stroying most of the furniture and greatly 
injuring the inner walls of the building. The 
■old structure was then removed and a new 
and commodious building was erected in its 
stead. The preacher then in charge, Rev. 
E. A. Allen, furnished the one-tenth part of 
the cost of the structure and its equipment 
and furnishings. The first Catholic church 
building in Decatur was put up in 1846-7: 
was a substantial frame at the corner of 
Madison and Fourth streets on inlot No. 
129. The present massive brick church was 

begun in 1872 and completed the next year. 
The Catholic church property consists of 
the church building, the priest's house, the 
sisters' house and the several school build- 
ings. A new two-story addition was built 
in 1907. 

In 1861 the German Reformed Zion 
Congregation began its organization in De- 
catur. Within the next year its church 
building, a frame, was erected. Its member- 
ship increased and at the present time its 
church building is located near the corner 
of Jackson and Third streets and is a com- 
fortable frame structure, with a school room 
built as an addition at the side. It has re- 
cently undergone some remodeling that ma- 
terially adds to its appearance. This church 
has also its parsonage, a frame structure, 
that provides for the home of its minister. 
The Evangelical Association organized its 
church in Decatur about 1870 and in 1873 
had its church building erected on inlot No. 
347 on the east side of Winchester street. 
In 1887 the church property was remodeled 
and greatly improved in appearance. This 
church has its parsonage, which is a com- 
fortable two-story frame structure. The 
Baptist church organization was formed in 
Decatur in 18S4 and in 1887 it erected a 
neat and commodious brick church building 
on the east side of Fourth street near Adams 
street. This is one of the best small church 
buildings in the city and in a large degree 
owes its existence to the untiring efforts of 
its previous pastor, Rev. D. B. Reckard. 
The Christian church class began its organi- 
zation in Decatur about 18S0. Within the 
next two years it purchased the old Meth- 
odist church property on Front street and 
within the next five years had secured suffi- 
cient funds to buv a lot at the corner of 



Fifth and Monroe streets and erect a com- 
modious frame church house. As yet it has 
no parsonage. The next church building 
erected was built at the corner of Ninth and 
Madison streets by the United Brethren 
congregation. This building was erected in 
1S96 and in 1902 was remodeled and much 
improved in appearance. It as yet has no 
parsonage. The last church building erected 
in the city is the Evangelical Lutheran Zion 
church, at the corner of Eleventh and Mon- 
roe streets. It is a good sized, tasty brick 
edifice, with stone trimmings. As yet it has 
no parsonage, but maintains a parochial 
school and has a comfortable frame school 
house in connection with the church prop- 
erty. Doubtless Prof. Henry Lankenau has 
had more to do in securing the erection of 
these buildings for the use of the church and 
school than any other member of the Decatur 
congregation. Though Decatur has been 
reasonably fortunate, it has had some very 
destructive fires. In 1878 that part of the 
east side of Second street from east of Court 
street to Madison street was burned out. In 
18S2, in September, all of that part of the 
east side of Second street from Madison to 
Monroe street was consumed by fire. The 
buildings were all frame with the exception 
of Nutman's office building, which was 
brick. The Decatur city council house was 
burned on the evening of a primary election 
of 1899; the log county jail was burned in 
1879. The "Big Store" June 28, 
1903. loss about seventy-five thousand dol- 
lars; the New Fornax mill, 1905; the Burt 
.louse in December, 1906, loss twenty thou- 
sand dollars. Some others of much earlier 
date are: The' Charles Schermyer's 
tannery on Market street; the Theo- 
< J,, re Rolivar brewery on East Mon- 

roe street; Clever, Weeks & Vail's 
factoty in 1S83; D. O. Jackson's lumber 
yard and planing mill at comer of Madison 
and Front streets in 1884. At the present 
time the city has a good fire company, city 
water works and some other means for fire 
protection. Its first effort toward protection 
from fire was in 188S, when a hand engine 
by the use of city cisterns was used. Deca- 
tur has three steam railroads and an electric 
traction line to Fort Wayne. The Grand 
Rapids & Indiana Railroad has a neat little 
modern depot built of brick, the other steam 
roads use their first depot buildings. The 
Fort Wayne & Springfield Traction Com- 
pany have their power house in Decatur. It 
is a cement block structure, large, neat and 
commodious. Its car barns are also of ce- 
ment blocks. These buildings are located in 
the north part of the city. 

It was not until about 18S0 that any of 
the streets of Decatur were paved or grav- 
eled. About that time sand and gravel were 
placed on Monroe street, and Second street 
was paved from Madison to Monroe streets 
with niggerhead rocks and a rougher road 
would be hard to find. Monroe street in 
1883 was cut so full of holes that travel was 
nearly abandoned. Then some of the side- 
walks were bricked, but many of the princi- 
pal walks along Second street were old 
boards. In 1888 the work of macadamizing 
the streets was agitated, and the contractors 
began the work within the next year. Rice 
& Bowers and Robinson & Gillig were the 
principal contractors. Then for the first 
time the stone quarries north of the city 
were extensively operated. A period of five 
or six years from 1S90 to 1895 was one °f 
rapid development in Decatur. Water 
works and electric light plants were started, 



natural gas was brought in for fuel. The 
telephone and rural route systems were put 
in operation throughout the county. The 
first brick streets and cement walks were 
built in Decatur. The first brick street in 
the city was built from Monroe to Jefferson 
street in 1S93 ; this was on Second street, 
which was the first paved street in the coun- 
ty, having been paved with niggerhead stone 
ten years prior to this time, was also the 
first bricked street in the county. The next 
year the bricking was extended to Mercer 
and Winchester streets at the "Five Points." 
Decatur now has about two miles of brick 
streets and a large amount of cement side- 
walk. In 1906 the city council required all 
of Second street north of Madison street to 
put in cement sidewalks at least five feet in 
width. In 1892 the Edwards electric light 
plant was started ; it supplied the private con- 
sumers and operated a number of arc street 
lights for the city. The next year the city 
water works plant was put in operation and 
the city electric light plant was ready for 
operation in 1895. In 1892 the natural gas 
was piped in from the Camden field and is 
yet in use. The Citizens' Telephone Com- 
pany was organized in 1894 and has grown 
to all of the rural districts of the country. In 
1836 the town of Decatur was laid out right 
in the woods ; the nearest residence was over 
two miles distant down the river. On the 
last day of December, 1853, there was an 
election held to incorporate Decatur and 
place its management under its own town 
officers. In that election there were sixty- 
four votes cast. Then the town had two 
hundred and eighty-seven population. There 
were five trustees elected; a treasurer and 
clerk combined ; a marshal and assessor com- 
bined. The trustees were: James Crabbs, 

James Stoops, Thomas J. Pearce, Jacob 
Crabbs and Parker L. Wise. The clerk and 
treasurer was William G. Spencer. The 
marshal and assessor was Hamilton I. Wise. 
After the incorporation the first regular 
election was held on the 12th day of May, 
1855. As a result the five trustees elected 
were: J. D. Nutman, Simon Friberger, 
James Stoops, Jacob Bodle and David Mc- 
Donald; as marshal and treasurer com- 
bined A. Eollman ; as clerk and assessor 
combined William G. Spencer. On the 5th 
day of September, 1882, the town of Deca- 
tur became, a city by incorporation and its 
city officers were: James T, Merryman, 
mayor; L. J. Gast, city clerk; Hairy H. 
Bremerkamp, city treasurer; Robert Ma- 
lonee, city marshal ; J. T. Simccke, city en- 
gineer, and J. T. Archbold, street commis- 
sioner. Its first councilmen were: D. O. 
Jackson, George W. Patterson, J. H. Vogle- 
wede, Solomon Linn, William P. Moon and 
Jesse Niblick. The present city officers are : 
David D. Coffee, mayor ; Edward Green, city- 
marshal ; Carl O. France, city clerk; Wil- 
liam J. Archbold, city treasurer; James D. 
Stults. street commissioner; William H. 
Fulk, water works superintendent; H. C. 
Vocht, city engineer; Lewis C. DeVoss, city 
attorney. City councilmen are: Jacob 
Martin, Millen Burns, Isaac Chronister, Eu- 
gene Christen and Anson VanCamp. 

The first council house and fire depart- 
ment building was on the east end of inlot 
No. 87 on Monroe street. The council room 
is at present in the Decatur Library build- 
ing. Decatur's first school building was 
round log and was situated east of Second 
street near Jackson street. The second was 
a small frame building at the corner of Jack- 
son and Second streets on inlot No. 267. 



When the town was incorporated it took the 
school matter in its own hands and in 1854 
built a six-room two-story frame building 
<.n inlots Nos. 109, no and in on Jeffer- 
son and Fourth streets. This building was 
used until 1886, when it was removed and 
the Central school building was erected in 
its stead. This is a commodious two-story 
structure, with basement, sanitary plumb- 
ing, electric lights and modern heating and 
ventilation. Besides the Central school 
building there are three two-story, four- 
room buildings known as the ward schools. 
These are all fine structure?, made of cut 
stone and brick, with slate roofs, and are 
commonly called the West ward, the North 
ward and the South ward schools. In 1906 
a large addition was built to the south of the 
Central building to meet the growing de- 
mands of the higher grades of the school. 
The old school house, which is the second 
frame building, is now located at the corner 
of Jefferson and Second streets and is used 
as a grain, feed and seed store by J. D. Hale, 
one of the pioneer grain men of the county. 
Superintendent G. W. A. Luckey was the 
first city superintendent that conducted 
school in the new building. His assistants 
were Bertha M. Luckey. his wife; Mattie 
A. Wolf, Helena Parrott, Lucy Vail, Belle 
Merris, Kate Jackson, Nettie Moses and 
Dink Miller — nine teachers in all. Prof. 
C. A. Dugan was the second city superin- 
tendent in the new building. The present 
superintendent is Superintendent William 
Bcachler,with twenty-two assistant teachers. 
I he Decatur city school enumeration for the 
year 1907 is one thousand three 
hundred and ' eighteen. The attend- 
ance would be much greater were it not 
"Or the parochial schools conducted by the 
several religious organizations in the city. 

The present school board is composed of A. 
H. Sellemeyer, Fred Mills and Robert D. 
Patterson. The first postoffice in Decatur 
was located in the Nutman store room at 
the corner of Front and Monroe streets. Mr. 
Nutman was the first postmaster. Then two 
mails a week was all that was expected. 
More mail is now delivered in Decatur in 
one day than there was then in a year. The 
postoffice has rambled nearly all over town, 
but has now gotten within a hundred feet 
of its starting place. It is now on the west 
end of inlot No. 274, when at first it was 
on the east end of this same lot. It is now 
kept in the Fritsinger building, which was 
erected about 1903 under the special contract 
with the United States government as to 
the required specifications, etc. It is a two- 
story brick, with plate glass and cut stone 
front. The present postoffice force consists 
of: Maynard A. Frysinger as postmaster; 
John S. Peterson as first assistant; George 
W. Everetts and S. E. Schamp as mailing 
clerks; James A. Beery, stamping clerk, and 
Faye Smith as money order clerk. Since 
1904 Decatur has had free city mail deliv- 
ery. Its present city carriers are : Fred S. 
Vaughn. Wid R. Dorwin and O. P. Mills. 
From Decatur there are twelve rural routes. 
The rural route carriers at this time are: 
Earl Butler, William Engle, Homer D. Low- 
er, Henry A. Fuhrman, Mell J. Butler, El- 
mer E. Archer, Samuel S. Magley, Maud 
L. Magley, William P. Biggs, Warren A. 
Hamrick, Roy D. Christen and Roy Wol- 
ford. Some of the earliest assembly rooms 
w r ere the old court house and Rover's hall. 
Later the Meiber's opera house. At pres- 
ent the court room and the Bosse opera 
house are used. These will comfortably 
seat about four hundred and fifty to fi\e 
hundred people. Some of the church build- 



ings and assembly rooms combined can ac- 
commodate a larger number. 

In 1903 tbe Decatur public library 
building was erected at a cost of about fif- 
teen thousand dollars on inlot No. 97 on 
the west side of Third street. It is one of 
the prettiest buildings in the citv and is used 
for literary club meetings and a city council 
assembly room as well as for library pur- 
poses. It is built of brick, two stories high 
and faced with gray pressed brick of a fine 
quality, trimmed in cut stone and sanded 
iron work. Its two massive front columns 
are supported by blue limestone steps and 
colonades. It is lighted by electricity, heat- 
ed by a low-pressure steam furnace and has 
sanitary plumbing, with city water. This 
building was dedicated in July, 1906, and 
opened to the reading public at that time. 
The present librarian is Miss Annetta Moses, 
who is thoroughly conversant with the de- 
tails of the many books and magazines that 
may be found upon the shelves and tables of 
the library proper for the use and perusal of 
the general reading public. Besides a gen- 
era! description of the beginning and growth 
of the various phases of Decatur's advance- 
ment from the beginning to the present time 
we herewith give a brief outline of her pres- 
ent industries, etc. The Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows owns it own building. The 
Masons, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Knights 
of Columbus and Eagles have lodge halls. 

Number of brick residences in Decatur in 
1907, 20; church houses, 9; hotels, 3; res- 
taurants, 5 ; grocery stores, 3 ; drug stores 
4; cigar and tobacco stores, 3; dry goods 
stores, 4; clothing stores, 4; millinery stores. 
4 ; hardware stores, 3 ; banks, 2 ; agricultural 
implement stores, 2 ; furniture stores, 3 ; shoe 
stores, 3 ; butcher shops, 5 ; tinner shops, 2 ; 
second hand stores, 2 ; ten-cent and novelty 
stores, 3 ; candy and fruit stores, 1 ; coal • 
yards, 3 ; feed and seed stores, 1 ; junk deal- 
ers, 1 ; cut stone works, 1 ; marble shops, 2 : 
undertakers, 3 ; saloons. 1 5 ; bottling works, 
3 ; lumber yards, 2 ; bakeries, 3 : barber 
shops, 6 ; blacksmith shops, 4 ; foundries, 1 ; 
cigar factories, 5 ; furnace factory, 1 ; tile 
and brick mills, 3; saw mills, 3; planing 
mills, 1; cider mills, 1; grist mills, 3; cold 
storage plants, 1 ; grain elevators, 2 ; pack- 
ing houses, 2 ; whip stock factory, * ; incu- 
bator factory, 1 (had a baby shoe factoiy, 
but it has been removed) ; machine shops, 
1 ; stone quarries and crushers, 2 ; cut stone 
works and lime kilns, connected with the 
quarry, 1 ; egg case filler factory, 1 ; slack 
barrel heading factories, 2; wagon maker 
shops, 3 ; opera houses and halls, 2 ; livery 
stables. 4; jewelry stores, 3; tailor shops, 3; 
new stand, 1 ; green houses, 1 ; traction lines, 
1 ; steam railroads, 3 ; abstractors, 3 ; den- 
tists, 3; doctors, 10; lawyers, 20; photo- 
graph galleries, 2 ; printing offices, 3. 


Berne is the second town in the county in feet wide and one hundred and thirty-two 

population and importance of manufactur- feet long, with one street, called Main street, 

ing and mercantile interests. The original passing them from east to west. The origi- of this town contained ten lots sixty-six nal town plat of Berne was made on the i5'- n 

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v of August, 1871, but was not recorded 
until April 5, 1872. Its founders were 
\br;iham Lehman and John Hilty. The 
hrs! addition was made March 13, 1873, by 
[ ( '.:, Hilty and Christian Leichty and re- 
corded on the 17th day of April, 1875. The 
•own of Berne is located on the township 
line of Wabash and Monroe townships, six 
miles from the south boundary of the 
county and about two miles from the Wa- 
bash river. This town has had more addi- 
:;>::> than all of the other towns in the 
county put together. The fifty-seventh ad- 
dition to the town was made in 1906 of fif- 
teen lots on Compromise street by Christian 
C. Sprunger. As its name indicates, Berne's 
founders were Switzers, or Swiss-Germans, 
as they arc sometimes called. However, 
there are few residents of the town who 
cannot understand some English and most 
of the English can speak some German. 
There is no locality in the county that has 
made more rapid advancement in many ways 
than Berne and its immediate surroundings. 
The modern ideas in business in its many 
phases seem to have saturated its financiers. 
Its younger business men are striving for 
trade by the methods unknown to Berne 
twenty vears a^o. There are at least four 

J o 

or live old residences — two-story frame 
farm buildings — now in the town of Berne 
that were built long before a town in that 
vicinity was thought of or begun. The Leh- 
mans, the Sprungers and the Hiltys were 
early residents. Today one is pretty safe in 
calling every other resident he meets in 
tterfie by one or the other of the above names 
'•-"id having him correctly named. In Au- 
i,">M, 187 1, Thomas Harris built a single- 
•"y. small plank store room on the north 

side of Main sti eet near the railroad cross- 
ing, which was the first business room in the 
village. He started a little general store 
which was the predecessor of the J. J. 
Hifschy & Co. store, one of the first exten- 
sive general stores in the town. One of the 
early grain merchants was Philip Sheets, 
who was also a storekeeper. Mr. Sheets was 
the first postmaster of Berne. Until Janu- 
ary, 1S72, the mails were carried through 
from Winchester to Fort Wayne on horse- 
back or by special earner. The postoffices 
in the south part of the county at that time 
were the Limberlost at Alexander, or Old 
Buffalo, as it was later known, and the Can- 
oper postoffice, which was kept at the resi- 
dences of farmers east and northeast of the 
present town of Berne. Some of the post- 
masters of the Canoper postoffice were Ja- 
cob Ruble, John R. Burdge, Lewis Mattax 
and A. B. McClurg. When the passenger 
trains began to run«on the Grand Rapids & 
Indiana Railroad the mails were carried by 
the railroad and Limberlost and Canoper 
postoffices were dropped from the list and 
Geneva and Berne postoffices came into ex- 
istence. Those who have followed Mr. 
Sheets are Andrew Cotschalk, William 
Sheets, Joel Welly, Harvey Harruir, Wil- 
liam Waggoner, H. S. Michaud and J. F. 
Lehman, the present incumbent of the office. 
This office has five rural routes. Its present 
carriers are Amos Burghalter, Bertram 
Parr, Simon P. Lehman, Otto Franz and 
Elmer Eley. Berne is one of the largest 
mailing offices of second-cla^s mail matter 
in Indiana. It has also a great many stray 
foreign letters, as they are addressed in the 
German hand and not all of Uncle Sam's 
mail railroad clerks can read the German 



language. Mr. Lehman straightens out the 
kinks and sends them on to where they be- 
long, in many instances. 

The mailing lists at Berne are largely in- 
creased by the nine or ten newspapers that 
the Witness Company prints for the various 
organizations and associations and are 
mailed from the Berne office. The postoffice 
pays a salary of about sixteen hundred dol- 
lars a year. For ten years after its begin- 
ning the town's transient people had to be 
content with boarding house accommoda- 
tions. Though good they may have been, they 
were hardly what was demanded by the 
transient public. In the summer of 1S82 
the Eagle House was built east of the rail- 
road on Main street. This name was changed 
in 1S93 by Mrs. Rose, its landlady, to the 
Cottage Flotel, a name it still retains. Its 
promoters were formed into a joint stock 
company, composed of John A. Sprunger, 
J. F. Lehman, D. S. Whitwer and Aaron 
Neuenschwandcr. D. S. Whitwer was the 
first landlord. This hostelry soon gave a 
good account of itself and is now well pat- 
ronized by the traveling public in general. 
This hotel was originally a two-story frame 
structure with about twenty rooms. Berne 
has improved very rapidly within the last 
few years, and its buildings arc generally of 
modern construction, many of which can- 
not be excelled in the larger towns and 
cities. There are a number of large and new 
brick and cement block business rooms; 
three brick residences and twelve cement 
block dwellings, many of which are models 
of taste and beauty. At the present time 
there are four church organizations that 
have their own church buildings. The Men- 
nonite, German Reformed. Evangelical As- 
sociation and the Missionary church. The 

Mennonite congregation erected its lirst 
church, which was a small frame, just north 
of and across the road from their present 
large frame church, which is situated on the 
south side of West Main street. The Men- 
nonite church in Berne has perhaps the 
largest seating capacity of any church in 
Adams county. This church building was 
begun- in 1879 and since has been remodeled 
and enlarged by several additions. Its foun- 
dation is perhaps about sixty by seventy 
feet in size, and the church has a gallery on 
three sides; it is said that this church can 
comfortably seat about fifteen hundred peo- 
ple. Until 1S90 this property was outside 
of the corporation, but is now within the 
town limits. This church has a large mem- 
bership, perhaps the largest of any one 
church in the county south of Decatur. Rev. 
S. F. Sprunger has for more than thirty 
years been the minister of this church. In 
1903 Rev. J. W. Kliewen came and is now 
the minister in charge. The German Re- 
formed people have a small frame church a 
few miles south of Berne. This was erected 
perhaps as early as 1863, and as the town of 
Berne grew more of this religious denomina- 
tion came in until 18SS, at which time the 
new brick school house was erected. They 
then bought the old frame school property 
and remodeled it and used it for their church 
until 1896. One of the first local preachers 
was Rev. Bader, who was succeeded by 
Rev. R. Ruf, who was largely instrumental 
in the erection of the present elegant brick 
structure on West Main street, which was 
built in 1896. This church is modern in 
all respects and makes a fine outward ap- 
pearance. Its membership at the present 
time is about two hundred and eighty-five. 
The Evangelical Association began its or- 



ionization at Berne in 1882. Its assembly 
room was the school house until 1SS7, when 
the Hocker's Hall was completed and used 
until the completion of their present church 
building, erected in 1900. This is a fine 
brick edifice, situated in South Berne, on one 
of the principal streets, and is one of the at- 
tractive and substantial public buildings of 
the town. The seating capacity of this 
church and auditorium is about six hundred 
and fifty. The present pastor is Rev. Frank 

The Missionary church building is the 
property formerly owned by the German Re- 
formed church people and was originally 
the township school house built in 1S79 by 
Trustee Robert E. Smith, of Monroe town- 
ship. This was remodeled for church pur- 
poses in 18SS. The Missionary church was 
an adherent to the doctrines of John A. 
Sprunger, who formerly was a member of 
the Mennonite church at Berne. It is of 
recent origin, having been started about 1888 
or 1890. West of Berne about Ihree miles, 
in French township, there is another church 
of this denomination. It has a large frame 
structure. If not the founder of this church 
society, at least one of its ardent adherents 
was J. A. Sprunger, who was also the 
founder of the "Light and Hope" Society 
that built and operated an orphanage at 
Berne for some time. In 1898 it abandoned 
Us work in Berne and removed to a larger 
town or city to have a more extensive field 
for its labors. The Mission church at Berne 
at this time has between fifty and seventy- 
five resident members, with Rev. Alfred M. 
C iauser as its pastor. On the farm of Daniel 
W elty, which is now a part of the incor- 
porated town of Berne, is an old log two- 
story building that was once used as a school 

room. In 1879 the frame school building on 
North Jefferson street was erected. In 1888 
a two-room, two-story brick school building 
was erected in South Berne. It was the first 
addition. As of the town, this school build- 
ing has had several additions. When this 
building was erected there was a wave of 
public sentiment in Berne that rather op- 
posed women teachers and especially those 
from German neighborhoods. Another sen- 
timent seemed to have taken possession of 
some of the prominent families, which was 
that the modern styles, be they in clothing, 
carriages or in architecture, was a useless 
expenditure put upon what they termed 
"style," and in a sense was a phase of 
wickedness that was unnecessary and should 
be discouraged. It seems that Berne has 
now found its way out of those ideas fat- 
enough to keep their scholars in school until 
graduation from the high school course of 
study. Some of the very best school teach- 
ers the county ever had were German girls. 
And still they continue to learn and teach. 
At present there are eight teachers employed 
in the town schools. Frank G. Haecker and 
Lila G. Schrock were the first teachers after 
the town was incorporated. The succeeding 
town school principals and superintendents 
are: N. C. Hirschy. John H. Bryan, J. H. 
Anderson, B. A. Winams, H. B. Kizer and 
Frank D. Huff, the present princi- 
pal. The present school enumeration of 
Berne is three hundred and fifty-six. The 
town school board of Berne at the present 
time is Charles Schug, Levi Sprunger and 
Fred Schafer. The village of Berne was 
incorporated on the 30th day of March, 
18S7, with Daniel Welty, J. F. Lehman and 
John C. Lehman as town trustees ; F. F. 
Mendenhall, as clerk; David Bixier, trcas- 



urer, and J. F. Lachot. as marshal. On the 
2d day of May of the same year occurred 
the regular time for city and town elections 
and the first officers were re-elected, with the 
exception of town trustees. Samuel Sim- 
merson and Harvey Harruff were elected in 
the places of Mr. Lehman and Mr. Welty. 
The present town officers are: Christ Sten- 
gel, town clerk ; Eugene Runyon, town treas- 
urer; William Tucker, town marshal. The 
trustees are: David Eckrote, Howard Parr 
and Norman Jacobs. The town attorney is 
Frank Cotleral. Within the last few years 
there have been perhaps a mile and a half of 
brick streets constructed, drainage sewers 
built and cement sidewalks made. The 
streets of Berne cease to be a continuous 
"chuck hole," but the main and several of 
the cross streets have been bricked. The 
supervisor of public utilities did finally have 
to give his consent to remove the wind pump 
and overflowing watering trough from the 
main street right in the center of the town. 
With it went the mud and the mire, a'n eye- 
sore to the cleanliness of the village. 

Berne has a number of business enterprises 
of general utility to the public that are not 
really mercantile in their nature. The Beme 
Electric Light Company was organized in 
1904, furnishes thirty street arc lights and 
about three thousand incandescent lights for 
the town. The officers of this company are 
William Baumgartner, president: Henry S. 
Michaud. vice president; C. A. Neuen- 
schwander, treasurer, and F. K. Schafer. 
secretary and manager. The S. & H. Tab- 
let Company, the Berne Manufacturing 
Company and the Condensed Milk Factory 
are industries such as are found nowhere 
else in the county. The Sprur.ger & Hah- 
beger Tablet Company occupies the "Or- 

phanage" building with its manufacturing 
plant and employs a number of hands. It 
devotes its attention principally to the manu- 
facture of writing tablets, such as are com- 
monly used in counting rooms, schools and 
business offices. It is said that the usual 
output is about three thousand tablets a day 
or eighteen or twenty thousand a week. It 
consumes several carloads of paper a month, 
has its salesmen on the road to dispose of its 
products. The condensed milk factory be- 
gan its operations April 1, 1907, and is just 
fairly under headway. However, it con- 
sumes five thousand pounds of milk each 
day and at present pays fifty dollars a day 
to the farmers for the milk with which to 
operate. The Berne Manufacturing Com- 
pany does an extensive business. Its loca- 
tion is on the. south side of Main street to- 
ward the west part of town in a fine two- 
story cement block Dividing that is said to 
be about one hundred feet long and forty 
feet wide. This business industry was 
started in 1S9S with eighteen or twenty sew- 
ing machines, but in 1902 the capital stock 
was increased and a large amount of ma- 
chinery was added and the amount of help 
increased. This company's pay roll is large, 
its employes at present consist of five men 
and nearly sixty girls. It manufactures 
socks, mittens, overslrirts and overalls for 
working men chiefly. 

Berne has several secret orders that are in 
a thriving condition, as the Knights of Py- 
thias, the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, the Modern Woodmen, etc. 

Some of the other items of interest in ro- 
tation to the town may be mentioned as: 
Brick residence properties, 3; cement block- 
dwellings, 12; church, houses, 4; hotels, 1: 
restaurants, 2; grocery stores. 1; general 



stores, 5; drug stores, 2; banks, 2; clothing 
stores, 1; millinery stores, 3; hardware 
si ttes, 4; furniture stores, 1 : shoe stores, 1 ; 
butcher shops, 2 ; tinners' shops, 2 ; harness 
shops, 3; electric light and gas furnishings, 
1 ; junk dealers, 1 ; lumber yards. 2 ; baker- 
ies, 1 ; barber shops, 2 ; grain elevators, 1 ; 
foundries, 1; brick and tile yards, 2; plan- 
ing mills, 2 ; grist mills, 1 ; packing houses 
for eggs and butter, 2 ; handle factories, 1 ; 
wagon shops, 1 ; livery stables, 1 ; feed barns, 
2 ; photographers, 1 ; lawyers, ? ; doctors, 5. 

While there have been no fires of a general 
nature that swept the streets for blocks, as 
in Geneva and Decatur, the town of Berne 
has had some very severe iosses by fire. In 
the spring of 1883 occurred the destruction 
of the Hoosier mills, owned by the Sprunger 
Brothers, on the north side of East Main 
street. Next the cultivator factory and saw 
mills at the north of town. By these fires 
over twenty-five thousand dollars' worth of 
property was destroyed. The Berne and 
Bryant stave and heading factory, in the 
southern part of town, was destroyed in 
1895. The large dry goods and general 
store cf Simmerson & Soldner, at the corner 
of Main and Jefferson streets, was destroyed 
in February, 1905. Perhaps the most serious 
of all the fires was that of one of the "Or- 
piianage" buildings in April, 1S99, at which 
time three of the inmates were burned to 
death in the flames. 

Berne has a very large temperance society 
that enumerates a membership of between 
three and four hundred. Its purpose is said 
to be to compel liquor sellers to keep within 
'he limits of the statutory law in the han- 
dling of liquors. It has developed into 
iwarly what may be considered a total ab- 
•tii.cuce society — the only safe temperance 

society. It has been stated that a number 
of the ministers and particularly Rev. S. F. 
Sprunger, of the Mennonite church, long 
favored such a society in the German neigh- 
borhoods before this society was started and 
put in operation at Berne; that J. Chris- 
tian Rohrer, his son, Fred Rhorer, and Ed- 
ward Ray are and have been some of his 
aggressive advocates. In 1902-3 the sa- 
loons of Berne were discontinued. Later 
there were two or three started again, but 
soon discontinued. In 1904 the town was 
dry and so were some of its residents. But 
the town still continues to grow and flourish 
in its drouth. It has not been so many 
years since where Berne now is located was 
the home of wild animals. The days of do- 
mesticated animals now prevail in Berne 
and Adams county. There was once a time 
when there were more deer than sheep now 
in the county ; more bears then than hogs 
in the county. It is a historical fact that the 
last wild bear in the county was killed in 
1846, near the Bolinger school house, in 
Monroe township, a short distance north- 
west of Berne. However, there was a do- 
mesticated bear killed between Decatur and 
Pleasant Mills on the 3d day of June, 1907. 
This was one given to Elmer Johnson as a 
present from a northern Wisconsin friend 
of his. "Billy" was almost full grown and 
plump and usually friendly, but became dis- 
satisfied and cross, broke his chain and in 
true bruin style started after the pigs and 
lambs for his dinner. All efforts to cap- 
ture him were useless, as he became danger- 
ous and had to be shot. In February, 1907, 
O. G. Brown, of North Decatur, captured a 
live bald eagle that was feasting on the car- 
cass of a dead sheep. It was caged and car- 
ried in the Order of Eagles' parade in De- 



catur. About six miles northwest of Berne, 
on the faun of J. B. Corson, may be seen 
five or six domesticated fallow deer. They 
pasture with the cattle in the fields and make 
no effort to escape. These animals ah re- 
mind us of a much earlier day when their 
screams or bleats could be heard in every 
direction. It has been related that along in 
the nineties there was an animal of some 
kind heard and seen in the neighborhood of 
Berne. It became a terror to the young and 
many of the old people of that locality. 
"Dad" Michaud's hounds refused to trail it, 
and most of the other dogs of the town were 
afraid of its threatening howls. Whether 
it was an escaped menagerie specimen was a 
subject of general discussion. However, 
none of the traveling shows ever sent repre- 
sentatives to effect its capture. Though no 
lives were actually lost, its threatening howls 
disturbed the peace and quiet of the even- 
ings in the town so that the matter was 
brought to the notice of the newspaper men, 
who at once gave extended notices of its 
prowlings. They even suggested that be- 
fore the lives of children be sacrificed that a 
circle hunt be instituted. That the swamps 
along the Canoper and forest down the Wa- 
bash river bottoms be thoroughly scanned 
and the lynx, panther or wildcat be cap- 
tured. Frederic Rohrer, the editor of the 
Witness, as starter of the circle 
hunt idea, was made commander- 
in-chief by common consent. Some 
of his aids were sure shots and 
able hunters. A circle was formed for the 
hunt and it was found to contain not only 
farmers and newspaper men, but mechanics, 
ministers, storekeepers and many others, all 
bent on extermination of the beast. General 
Fred and Captain Ed extended their lines so 

that the center field would be Berne. The 
lines began to move, the farther they went 
the more compact they became. Along the 
Canoper and above the Price bridge at "Tur- 
tle Soup Camp," the trail was struck. Cap- 
tain Ed passed along the lines on a gallop, 
standing partly up in his stirrups, hallowing 
at the top of his voice through a mega- 
phone to the commanding general, "Keep to 
the right. We've hit a scent." The lines 
moved steadily on. The beast was started 
from its lair in the Canoper swamps and 
headed for Hirschy's woods. Again the 
sergeant bore the tidings to the general, 
"Keep to the right. We've seen its tail." 
Then the lines moved rapidly on. A brave 
and animated hunter stumbled on a "hop 
cream" bottle and lost his head. The cap- 
tain dismounted and while reviving this 
brave veteran was left in the rear and on the 
field. An hour afterward he galloped into 
town hunting his lines, inquiring, "Have 
they run him in? Have they got him yet?" 
Some one, perhaps Dad Mischaud, suggested 
that he was treed under Sprunger's barn. 
"Let your watchword then be to the right," 
said the captain, as he nudged his horse 
along. The barn was surrounded. General 
Fred was vigorously punching with a pole. 
The crowd cheered, "it's in there. We've 
got it treed." The captain quickly alighted 
without tying his horse, peeped under and 
looked again. "Say, Fred, give me your 
pole. I think I see its tail." Captain Ed 
then gave one of his usual crawls and under 
he went. Just as he poked it he didn't poke 
it, for it turned and looked at him face to 
face. He then gave two pokes and it 
charged him out. when he then gave one of 
his customary craw's when in a tight place. 
Fred took the pole and poked and poked. It 



crive a chirping growl at each poke. After 
much delay a consultation was held and it 
was agreed that the sheriff should be sent 
for and have the militia called out lest it 
actually get away. Sheriff Myers came, gave 
it iust one poke, showed his gun, but the 
gnashing of teeth continued and the animal 
howled as before. Captain Ed suggested a 
little salt for its tail. Dad Stopher thought 
that perhaps a nice young lamb might bring 
it out. A telegram was received that the 
militia was at the lakes on an outing and 
couldn't come. Prosecutor Heller then 
showed up and Fred punched it some more 

with a pole. It moved a little. Captain Ed 
yelled out, "Stop, Fred, I think I can get a 
hold of its tail." After persistent pokes it 
again attempted to escape. But as it passed 
its head beyond the structure the prosecutor 
brought it a tremendous stroke with a limb 
of the law. Captain Ed just hopped for joy, 
yelling at the top of his voice, "Now I can 
grab it by the tail. The first time I saw it I 
didn't see it at all. The next time I saw it 
just as plain as I saw it the first time. Now 
I think I see it." One more stroke from 
Mr. Heller's Blackstone and the poor old 
"blind tiger" was no more. 


What is now known as the town of Gen- 
eva is composed of three separate towns 
united in one by incorporation. Near where 
the Godfrey trace crossed the Fort Recovery 
& Flint Springs, or Huntington, road, was 
the cabin home of one Alexander Hill. The 
original town of Alexander was laid out by 
Charles Lindley, and the plat recorded on 
the 23d day of July, 1838. The town had 
three north and south streets — Main, Jack- 
son and Van Buren — and two east and west 
streets, which were North street and South 
street. It contained twenty-eight lots — 
some of the smallest in the county — they 
were forty-one by eighty-two and a half feet 
in size. At the crossing of Main and North 
streets was the business part of town. The 
town well was on the west side of Main 
street in the center of North street, where it 
is today. On the two corners to the south 
and the southeast were the first store build- 
ings. Some of the early storekeepers were: 

Darias Carr, Samuel Linton, James Child- 
ers, Zedric Wheeler and others. The first 
tavern in the town of Alexander was on the 
east side of Main street, just on the batiks of 
the Limberlost creek. It is said to have been 
built about the time the town was laid out 
and the town named after its landlord. 
Alexander, who was Alexander Hill. Jacob 
Conkle was an early resident and a stirring 
citizen from a business point of view. He 
burned the first brick kiln in Wabash town- 
ship along about 1S52 and a year later had 
the first steam saw mill in operation in Alex- 
ander. This mill was placed on the Thomp- 
son prairie, east of Berne, by John R. 
Burdge a few years before it was purchased 
by Mr. Conkle. The old tavern building 
was a two-story hewed-log structure, 
planked up in front with rough boards. The 
old mill blew up in 1866 after having cut 
lumber to build two towns — Alexander and 
Buffalo. Some of the early mechanics of 



these towns were: Caleb Penock, a black- 
smith and gunsmith; Joseph Wilson, manu- 
facturer of spinning wheels and buckeye 
splint and braided rye straw hats for men. 
He was also a noted hunter. George Coker- 
ly, a blacksmith and wagonmaker; William 
Bears, a silversmith or watchmaker. Then 
mails were carried through from Winches- 
ter to Fort Wayne on horseback. Jesse 
Conner 'was one of the early mail carriers 
and Jacob Conkle was the first postmaster 
after Limberlost postoffice was established. 
Riesen Todd was the last one before the 
name of the office was discontinued and 
Geneva given its place. The original town 
of Buffalo contained thirty lots that were 
sixty by one hundred and twenty feet in 
size. The original streets were Van Buren 
and Ringgold streets north and south, 
crossed by Kossuth street. The town of 
Buffalo was laid out by David Studabaker 
and the plat was recorded on the 28th day 
of July, 1S53. In August of the same year 
C. A. Wilkinson laid out an addition of 
twenty-nine lots, which extended the town 
to the then proposed Cincinnati, Union City 
& Fort Wayne Railroad right-of-way, which 
had recently been located. The first church 
building erected in the south port of the 
county was built on what was later inlots 
Nos. 20 and 21, facing Kossuth street, in 
Buffalo. This was a large hewed-log struct- 
.ure. Alexander was about sixteen years old 
when this was built. It was heated by 
stoves, something rather uncommon through- 
out the country then, and had tin candle- 
sticks on the pulpit and tin pans for reflect- 
ors behind the caudles set in wooden blocks 
tacked at convenient height against the 
walls. This church was favored with four 
windows and had a bell. This bell was 

hauled all the way from Dayton, Ohio, by 
Samuel Linton, who went there in 1856 for 
a supply of goods for his store in Alex- 

The first regular passenger trains began 
to run on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Rail- 
road on Christmas day, 1S71. About that 
time the railroad station, nearly a half mile 
north of Buffalo, received its name — Geneva. 
The station was located at the crossing of 
the railroad by the east and west public road 
that is now Line street. As there was not 
a house or any building for use as a station 
house or wareroom, the company made ar- 
rangements with J. D. Hale, who is now a 
resident of Decatur, to provide a suitable 
building and to serve the road as station 
agent at Geneva. Mr. Hale expended just 
one hundred dollars on the station house, 
letting the contract and having a two-room 
plank building about fourteen by twenty- 
eight feet in size built and made ready for 
use as a granary for small grains and one 
room for railroad purposes. This building 
was completed in 1872 and was the first 
building in Geneva, and served until the 
Hale grain warehouse and elevator was 
built five or six years later. For a time a 
room in this was used for a ticket, express 
and telegraph office, with Mr. Hale and his 
brother, S. W. Hale, as agents and operator. 
The first reference made by the town plat 
record was that of Pyle's addition to the 
town of Geneva that was filed for record on 
the 29th day of March, 1S77. Additions 
filed previous to this date are shown as addi- 
tions to the town of Buffalo. The town of 
Geneva became an incorporation on the 27th 
day of January, 1874, and then included the 
three towns as a municipal corporation. The 
first town officers were: J. Q. Anderson, 



U>wn clerk: Charles D. Porter, town treas- 
urer; Michael M. McGriff, assessor and 
ntarshal combined. The town trustees 
were : Riesen Todd, John B. King and N. 
}\ Heaston. The first general election was 
held in May, 1875, at which time the follow- 
ing named officers were elected : Town trus- 
tees, S. W. Hale, William Bair and B. F. 
I Vrry ; for clerk and assessor combined. N. 
1'. Heaston; for treasurer, John S. Nelson; 
for marshal, Jacob Bricker. The present 
town officers are : Andrew Miller, Byron 
Ault and Charles Brown, as trustees; for 
town treasurer, Samuel Acker ; for town 
clerk, Bert Redout; for town marshal, E. 
M. Adklnson ; town attorney, Jacob Butcher. 
The present town school board is composed 
«f Nathan Shepherd, Charles Reicheldeffer 
raid M. E. Hutton. As soon as convenient 
office room could be secured at Geneva the 
postoffice was removed to the new part of 
town. Charles D. Porter and Emerson 
Kern built store houses down south on Main 
street in Buffalo, but as the station was lo- 
cated farther north and the buildings began 
going up, they abandoned their first store 
rooms and built on Line street. Mr. Kern 
was the first postmaster at Geneva. He was 
followed by W. W. Roberts, W. H. Fought, 
S. F. Beitman, M. M. Herr, Lafayette 
Rape, Marshal Aspy and Samuel H. Teeple, 
the present incumbent. The next buildings 
erected in the present town of Geneva were 
some small plank business rooms on the 
south side of Line street, west of the rail- 
road. Another that was among the first 
was the George Iholt.s store room that occu- 
pied the ground where the I. O. O. F. build- 
ing is located. In 1876 Jerry L. Cartwright 
hitiit a two-story store room to the east of 
"us and furnished the amusement-lovine 

people their first opportunity to see shows by 
theater troupes in Geneva. The lower 
rooms were for store purposes and living 
rooms and the entire upstairs was arranged 
for hall purposes. At that time there were 
a great many strangers in and about the 
timber towns and the dances and masquer- 
ades were well attended. There w-as a well- 
arranged stage in this building and some 
good show companies held the "boards"' for 
a week or more at a time. Perhaps the 
third building in the new town of Geneva 
was the Heaston Hotel. It was located just 
east of the railroad on Line street. This 
was built about the latter part of 1872 and 
had a good patronage. The Watson House 
was the next in the line of taverns or board- 
ing houses. This occupied the place of the 
present Shamrock Hotel on Line street. 

About this time the Shackley Wheel Com- 
pany started a spoke and heading factory at 
Geneva. Several saw mills were put in 
operation and employment was given to a 
large number of men in the timber indus- 
tries. Baldwin & Rayn built a two-story 
store room on the south side of Line street 
and were succeeded in the store business 
by Ashdale & Son, of Portland. Abram 
Herrod erected a two-story frame that he 
occupied with a furniture store on the north 
side of the street. Charles D. Porter and 
Emerson Kern each erected store buildings 
on the south side of Line street which they 
used for a number of years. For many 
years the church people of Wabash town- 
ship and vicinity used the old log church 
house that was erected at Buffalo in 1855. 
In 1877 the Methodist congregation built a 
new frame church at the comer of Line and 
Main streets. This was the first church 
built in the town of Geneva. It was in 



service for more than twenty years, when 
it was removed and a modem, tasty brick 
edifice built in its place. The old log church 
was used by several church denominations, 
but the Methodist members were in the 
majority at the time it was built. Some of 
those most interested were : Samuel Linton, 
Henry S. Juday, Harper Tyson, Lyman 
Bears and Arthur McIIugh and their famil- 
ies. It was not until 1855 that the neigh- 
borhoods could muster sufficient strength to 
build such a building as they desired. At 
that time camp meetings were held each 
year along the Limberlost on the lands south 
of Henry S. Juday's farm. At these meet- 
ings large crowds would assemble and camp 
out for a week or more. 1'he second church, 
the frame, was built largely through the 
united efforts of the church-going people of 
Geneva and vicinity, and was used by other 
denominations until the United Brethren 
church was built at the corner of High and 
Bradford streets in 1S81. Among the active 
promoters of the frame Methodist church 
were William Burke, 'John D. Hale, Joseph 
Anderson, Christian Burris, B. F. Perry and 
David B. Linton. In 1902 the United 
Brethren congregation remodeled and great- 
ly improved their church house in North 
Geneva. New furniture was put in, the 
building enlarged and the outer walls brick 
veneered that it now has all the appearance 
of a brick structure throughout. The first 
United Brethren class in Geneva was organ- 
ized with less than a dozen members in 
1875. 1h> s church has had a steady and 
continuous growth to the present time. 
Among its first most active members were: 
Daniel McCollum, George W. Pyle, Adam 
Cullv and their fanlilies. Some of its earlv 

pastors were: Revs. Baber and L. F. John- 
son. The last church house erected in Gen- 
eva was built by the Catholic people during 
the times of oil prosperity in that locality, 
perhaps in 1900. Then this church was well 
attended and the regular services were con- 
ducted by a priest from Portland. This 
building is a frame structure, of ample size 
to meet the wants of a small congregation. 
Of recent years many of the Catholic people 
have removed from Geneva and regular 
sendees at this church have for the present 
been abandoned. This church is a frame 
building, well located, in West Geneva, on 
one of the principal streets. Before their in- 
corporation as a town with Geneva the resi- 
dents of Alexander and Buffalo sent their 
children to the township district school. The 
school house was located at the present cor- 
ner of Railroad and Bradford streets in 
North Geneva, on the corner now occupied 
by the residence of Dr. L. Mattax. ■ This 
school house was a small frame building, 
with five little windows, two in each side 
and one at the end opposite the door. The 
inside walls were ceiled with rough oak and 
ash boards when the lumber was unseasoned 
and the openings between the boards fur- 
nished plenty of ventilation in winter and a 
fine escape for wasps and lizards in the 
spring and summer time. 

We are told that the frame work of this 
old school house is a part of a residence 
building on the east side of Railroad street 
at the east end of Bradford street. In 1873 
the township trustee built a frame school 
house on West Shackley street, near Main, 
perhaps on inlot No. 102, in Geneva. In 
1876 and 1S77 the attendance could not be 
accommodated in a sinHe-rocm house and 



ihc school was divided, a part attending 

school in the old log church building. The 
first brick school house was built in 187S. 
This was also the first brick school house 
w itli more than one room in the county. The 
first brick school house in Root township was 
a district school building of one room, built 
in 1S73. The Geneva graded school build- 
ing was a large two-story, four-room build- 
ing, with seating capacity for about two 
hundred pupils. This building was destroyed 
by fire in 1904 and has been recently replaced 
by a large and commodious structure not ex- 
celled in appearance or convenience by any 
in the county. The cost of this building is 
not far from twenty thousand dollars. It is 
located on the north side of Line street, in 
West Geneva. Besides the church and 
school buildings Geneva has some valuable 
halls and business rooms that are the prop- 
erty of secret societies. The Masons and 
Odd Fellows each own their lodge halls and 
properties running away up into the thou- 
sands of dollars in value. Five or six years 
ago the work of drainage, with adequate 
sewerage, and building brick streets re- 
ceived the attention of the town board. 
High street, Bradford street and Line street, 
from the railroad west, are bricked, which 
«dds much to the cleanliness, beauty and 
sanitary conditions of the town. In some 
respects Geneva excels all other towns in the 
county. It has near two miles of sawed 
stone sidewalks, and also has the largest and 
finest log residence house in the county and 
perhaps in eastern Indiana. This house is 
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. Por- 
ter. He is a financier and banker and she 
(Gene Stratton Porter) an author of numer- 
ous recent publications that have met with 
?:u-at favor by the reading public and gen- 

era! recognition by those pursuing scientific 
lines of investigation. This building is in 
no respect similar to or like the "Palace of 
the Pioneer," as heretofore spoken of, but 
is an elegant rustic two-story log structure, 
furnished and supplied with all of the mod- 
ern conveniences of the present day. It has 
over a dozen large rooms, none of which is 
less than fourteen feet square, and there are 
three rooms eighteen by twenty-two feet in 
size. Its walls are built of red cedar logs 
that were brought from the state of Wiscon- 
sin on special order for this building. The 
intention of its builders was to give it a rus- 
tic appearance, and their efforts have been 
fully rewarded. The grounds, which are 
large, are tastefully laid out and nicely set 
with shrubbery and potted plants — in season. 
The front is fortified with an uncut limestone 
wall about four feet in height, laid up in open 
work, giving it the appearance and effect 
that might have been produced by Nature's 
hand. It matters not as to the financial con- 
ditions of an individual or of a city, the fire 
fiend is no respecter of persons. It is some- 
times stated that a few good fires will do 
more for the looks of a town than all the ser- 
mons and local enactments of the town for 
years. In this respect it would seem that 
Geneva is no exception. On the night of 
June 11, 1895, a fire started on the south 
side of Line street and all of the business 
part of the town on both sides of the street 
to the railroad east was destroyed by fire. 
This fire destroyed the railroad depot, the 
grain warehouse and elevator and about 
twenty other business houses. It was but a 
very short time until the town was again 
visited by fire. This time it was the west 
part of Line street, the fire starting near 
Decatur street. All of the business buildings 



to the east to near where the Shamrock Ho- In addition to the various incidents con- 

tel and hank building are situated were de- nected with the town's history we herewith 

strayed by fire. This conflagration was not enumerate some of its industries at this 

quite so extensive as the first, but left the time . The tmvn has onc brick residence 

town with but yer>- few completed business Church houseSj 3 . hotds> ■ . restaurantSi a . 

grocery stores. 3 ; drug stores, 3 ; general 

houses in which to carry on its business 
This fire occurred on the 21st day of No- 
vember, 1895. It is evident that these fires 
were a heavy stroke to some of the property 
owners, but the spaces made vacant were 
soon filled by modern brick structures that 
give the streets quite a metropolitan appear- 
ance. In the last fire the Grand Army Hall 
was destroyed and William H. Fought came 
near losing his life in the flames, as the fire 
reached the stairway and cut off his escape 

stores. 2 ; banks, 1 ; clothing stores, 1 ; mil- 
linery stores, 2 ; hardware stores, 3 ; agricul- 
tural implement stores, 2 ; marble shops. 1 ; 
saloons, 3 ; blacksmith shops, 3 ; tile and 
brick works, 1 ; lumber yards, 1 ; grain ele- 
vators. 1 ; harness shops, 1 ; junk dealers, 2; 
furniture stores, 1 ; plumbing and gas fitting, 
1 ; livery stables, 1 ; butcher shops. 2 ; shoe 
stores, 3 ; coal yards, 2 ; tin shops, 1 ; grist 

before he was aware that the building was mills, 1 ; printing offices, 1 ; lawyers, 2 ; doc- 
on fire. tors, 5. 


The town of Monroe is situated at the 
center of the county, seven miles west of 
the Ohio state line. At various times it has 
fanned itself with the hope of being the 
county seat of Adams county. With this 
idea it was platted, witii eighty lots, on the 
line between Monroe and Washington town- 
ships by John Everhart. and the plat re- 
corded on the nth day of December, 1847. 
Its four streets were Washington, Jackson, 
VanBuren and Polk streets. In the general 
election of 1850 the county seat location was 
a prominent issue. A feature of this elec- 
tion shows that it was an issue between the 
north and south ends of the county, and that 
the southern candidates for county offices 
were about all elected over their northern 
rivals, while in the county seat issue Decatur 

was the winner. In that election the highest 
number of votes was cast for coroner. 
Thomas W. Andrews, of the northern part 
of the county, received 586 votes, and was 
elected; that for state senator Samuel S. 
Mickle received 447 votes and was elected. 
All the other county officers were chosen 
from the south half of the county. Charles 
Nelson, of Wabash township, received 505 
votes for county commissioner; John Mc- 
Connell, of southeast Monroe township, re- 
ceived 485 votes and was elected county au- 
ditor; Samuel Eley, of southeastern Mon- 
roe township, received 497 votes for enu- 
merator and county assessor and was elect- 
ed. David McDonald was elected sheriff 
by a vote of 461, while his opponent, the 
Whig candidate, Jacob Conkle, received 381 



votes. Both of these candidates for sheriff 
!:vc(! in Wabash township. The vote on 
county seat location stood: For Decatur, 
474 votes ; for Monroe, 343 votes ; for Mon- 
motrth, 14 votes, and for Pleasant Mills, 2 
votes. After the county seat subject was 
abandoned, a part of the recorded plat was 
vacated by order of the county commission- 
ers. One of the principal streets of the town 
al this time is Jackson street. This is an 
east and west street, and on this the greater 
number of the business houses of the town 
are located. When the Grand Rapids & In- 
diana Railroad was completed in 1871 Mon- 
roe had but two or three houses. The first 
frame house in this town was built in 1871 
by Dr. Charles F. Rainier, who subsequent- 
ly practiced medicine in Monroe and vicin- 
ity for more than twenty years. The first 
house built in the town was a two-room 
round log cabin, located on the south side 
of Jackson street near the present location of 
Joseph Hocker's drug store. It was built, it 
is said, along about 1853, by William Stock- 
ham, an ex-soldier of the war of 1812, and 
also an associate judge. Mr. Stockham was 
not only the first resident of Monroe, but 
was the first storekeeper. The wants of the 
neighborhood then were few, but he kept 
them on hand as far as possible. An old set- 
tler relates that the road to Stockham's store 
from Decatur ran in the direction of a snake 
track in the dust; that it nowhere ran 
straight; that the stock of goods usually 
kept by Mr. Stockham chiefly consisted of 
whisky, blind robins, dog-leg tobacco, ox 
yokes and ax handles; that he took in trade 
coon skins, beeswax, ginseng and maple su- 
i' : ir. Monroe has made much improvement 
since the fifties. One can get his tobacco 
and blind robin c , but must cross the corpo- 

ration line to get his whisky, as the saloon 
is just outside the corporation. For a num- 
ber of years Monroe was a great timber 
point. Lumber of various kinds was hauled 
here for shipment. Especially is this true 
of railroad ties, heading and staves. In 
1872-73 Gilig & Hower started the first saw- 
mill. Christ W. Hocker later put in a port- 
able mill and later hoop machinery and a 
burr for chopping grain. As the country 
was developed the town grew in business in- 
terests, and a grain elevator was built to 
handle the grain marketed there. In 1847 
Monroe was laid out as a town, but it was 
not until 1877 that it had a church building. 
Not that it had no church-going people, for 
it had, but that these were accommodated by 
attending the "twelve-cornered" log church 
that was a mile and a half south of Mon- 
roe. This church was built on the farm of 
Robert E. Smith, in section 9, in 1866, by 
the Methodist and United Brethren congre- 
gations and used by several other denomina- 
tions. Some of the most active members in 
securing the construction of the church at 
Monroe were Bazil Hendricks, William 
and Philip Hendricks, David Reefy and 
James Davey. These were assisted by con- 
tributions of labor, lumber and cash from 
the prominent business men of the town and 
community. This structure was repaired 
and remodeled in 1904 and made much more 
convenient and greatly improved in its out- 
ward appearance. One of the principal ad- 
vocates and managers of this improvement 
was Rev. Sprague, the local preacher. In 
1887 the present brick graded school building 
was erected. This was the first school build- 
ing in Monroe, and the second brick school 
house in the township. In 1902 another 
room was added and the building otherwise 



changed. This building was erected by 
Township Trustee Christ \Y. Hocker, an ac- 
tive merchant and timber man in Monroe 
in the eighties. It is now a graded school 
building and is located on Section Line street 
in the east part of town. The town of Mon- 
roe has never experienced any very exten- 
sive fires. Its most destructive occurred in 
the spring of 1905. Then Keller Brother's 
general store, Shelby Ray's drug store and 
residence and postoffice room and A. B. Bai- 
ley's general store building, with most of the 
contents, were destroyed by fire. A short 
time later, in the same year, Peter Kesler's 
blacksmith shop, J- W. Hendrick's residence 
and Mrs. Waggoner's house were destroyed. 
As to the causes of these fires, there has 
been more or less speculation. But one com- 
mon agreement is that Monroe has been ben- 
■efited by some new buildings that add a 
much more prosperous appearance to the 
village. The first fire of much consequence 
in this town was perhaps in 1887, when the 
•general store building belonging to Christ 
W. Hocker was burned. This was rebuilt, 
but was burglarized a number of times. In 
one case the burglars were caught and held 
by their captors with empty guns till the bur- 
glars drew loaded revolvers, backed out and 
escaped in the darkness. On the 17th day 
of April, 1905, the town of Monroe was in- 
corporated. The result of the election was 
the selection of John Hendricks, Jonathan 
Burkhead and Hazel J. Andrews for town 
trustees; for town clerk and treasurer corn- 
mined, John F. Hocker; for town marshal, 

Peter Kesler. The highest vote received in 
this election was forty-two votes for mar- 
shal. In the general election of 1905 the fol- 
lowing named officers were elected : John 
Hendricks, W. S. Smith, and L. F.. Loben- 
stine, for town trustees; for clerk and treas- 
urer combined, M. L. Oliver and J. F. Hock- 
er each received thirty-one votes; the tie vote 
was broken by tossing coppers, and on the 
basis of "Heads I win and tails you lose" 
Marion L. Oliver was selected ; for town 
marshal, J. W. Fverhart (the present marshal 
is is Joseph Dentner). Since the town was in- 
corporated it is taking on some new life. 
The Ray block on the north side of Jeffer- 
son street is a substantial structure with am- 
ple hall room on the second floor for any 
meetings that may be held in the town. The 
new bank buildinfr is under construction, and 
the town has a number of tasty tile block 
residences. It has g - otten well started in 
placing cement sidewalks over the village. 
Its business men have started the movement 
towards getting more and new business en- 
terprises to start up in the town. Stock is 
now selling to place a newspaper plant on its 
feet in Monroe, and a grist mill is already 
assured and' will soon lie built in the town. 
Among some of the other items of interest 
that may be named are : Church, 1 ; hotels, 
2 ; restaurants, 1 ; drug store, 1 ; general 
stores, 3 ; hardware and implement store, 1 ; 
blacksmith shop, 1 ; tile and brick works, 1 ; 
lumber yard, 1 ; harness shop, 1 ; junk shop, 
1 ; barber shop, 1 ; creamery, 1 ; coal yard, 1 ; 
dotcors, 2; grain elevator, 1. 




1 1 was not until 18S8 that there was any 
definite assurance that Adams county was 
underlaid with oil. Along about this time 
companies were formed for the purpose of 
drilling for gas to be used for fuel and 
lights. The towns southwest, such as An- 
derson and Muncie, were then at the height 
of the natural gas booms. A little later 
than this wells were put down at Decatur, 
bin no oil or gas in any paying quantities 
were found. The first well showing plenty 
of oil was drilled north of Geneva near the 
northeast corner of section 29, township 25 
north, range 14 east. This was on the land 
then owned by Reuben R. Bradford. This 
well was put down by Jack Adkinson at the 
instance of the Citizens' Gas Company of 
Geneva. As gas was not found in paying 
quantities; the well was abandoned. Within 
six years later a paying oil well was drilled 
within a few hundred feet from this and is 
at this time a producing well. Active opera- 
tions in the' Geneva field began about the 
first of the year 1S92. The first well that 
started the tide toward Geneva was a well 
drilled in October, 1891, en the George 
Bolds land near the southwest corner of 
Adams county. This was a good producer 
and other wells were put down at once. On 
the 1st day of January, 1892, a well was put 
ui on the farm of George W. Shoemaker, 
About three miles west of Geneva. It was 
alsp a good producer. Then the oil fever 
<*'gan to raise. • Lands could not be bought 
" two and three times their previous values. 
il -r one one-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm 
»"li:ch before this the owner would have 
l l!>' sold for sixty dollars an acre he, in 

1S95, refused twenty thousand dollars. This 
farm was then paying him a royalty of about 
five hundred dollars a month as his interest 
in the production. From a report made by 
the Buckeye Pipe Line Company in Janu- 
ary, 1S96, which handled a greater part 
of the oil from the Geneva field, we take the 
following statement: 

"At least there has been one thousand 
wells put down in this territory within the 
last three years. There are now six hundred 
and forty-four producing wells, as will be 
seen from the following table for Novem- 
ber, 1895: 

"In the Lob district 105 wells produced 
19,156 barrels. 

"The Phoenix district 195 wells produced 
30,528 barrels. 

"The Geneva district 160 well produced 
24,362 barrels. 

"The Camden district 184 wells produced 
29,635 barrels. 

"Making 644 wells producing 103,681 
barrels for November." 

Oil at this time was selling at about sev- 
enty-five cents a barrel. That this district 
for the year at this rate would produce over 
one million five hundred thousand barrels of 
oil, which at seventy-five cents a barrel 
would make almost a million and a quarter 
dollars. There were a great many oil com- 
panies and they were changing from time to 
time. Some of the longest lived companies 
were the Northern Indiana Oil Company, 
the Superior Oil Company, the Devonian 
Oil Company, the Globe Oil Company, the 
Warren & Indiana Oil Company, the Gen- 
eva Oil Company, the Biack Brother Oil 



Company, the Porter & Haskell Oil Com- 
pany and the United Pipe Line Company. 
The principal oil territory in Adatns county 
is limited to Hartford, Wabash, Jefferson 
and Blue Creek townships. In Saint Mary's 
township a shale gas field was found on the 
farm of William H. Tceple, on the state line 
southeast of Pleasant Mills. A gas com- 
pany -was organized and the product piped 
to Willshire, Ohio. But it soon became ex- 
hausted and the company dissolved, much 
the poorer and some wiser than when it 
began operations. The Blue Creek town- 
ship oil field was a close rival of the Geneva 
field and some wells are said to have made 
a? much as five hundred barrels a day at the 

The prospecting for oil is partly a matter 
of chance. On one eighty-acre lease a mile 
west of Geneva an experienced oil producer 
put down a well that to all appearances was 
entirely dry. He abandoned the tract and 
gave up the lease A new producer leased 
this land and the first well he put down was 
a hundred-barrel production. Four other 
wells were put down in close succession and 
.all were good producers. This lease was 
pumped for about five years and sold for 
ten thousand dollars. In Blue Creek town- 
ship a well was put down that when it was 
completed had not the least indications of 
oil. The one contractor declared that so far 
as he was concerned the well might go to 
the hottest region known, that he wouldn't 
sink any more money in it ; that already he 
had sunk one thousand dollars with no pros- 
pect of ever gettiag a cent of it back. His 
partner said thai he would make one more 
sink just before he left it — that would be 
eighty quarts of nitfo-glyceriri — and see 
what it would do. The charge was put in 

and when the well was shot the oil flew high 
above the derrick and started off as a two- 
hundred-and-fifty-baneh-a-day producer. In 
1906-7 many of these wells ran so low that 
the casing was removed and the wells aban- 
doned. The field at this time has a large 
number of active wells, but the production 
has greatly diminished. Two miles directly r- 
west Of the village of Ceylon is what are 
known as the "Twin wells." These are two 
wells that are about fifty feet from each 
other and right at the roadside. By pump- 
ing the one for ten or twelve hours the salt 
wafer could be lowered so that the oil could 
reach the pumps. Mr. J. H. Hardison, a 
philosophical producer, reasoned that if the 
pumping capacity was doubled that the salt 
water could be removed and then oil could 
be pumped all the time. With this belief 
the second wed was put down and both 
pumped at the same time. This was done 
and the desired result obtained. A careful 
observation of the operators in the Geneva 
field demonstrates the fact that the oil pro- 
ducers' risks are fully as great and even 
greater than similar investments in other 
lines of business. That a few two-hundred- 
and-fifty-barrels-a-day wells soon made capi- 
talists, but that a half dozen dry wells made 
bankrupts of some of them ; that the only 
real winners were the land owners upon 
whose properties the productive wells were 
operated. The Standard Oil Company lo- 
cated a pumping station at the village of 
Preble along about 1895. The object of 
this plant is to convey the raw production 
from the fields to the company's refineries at 
the various points. The pipe line from the 
Lima (Ohio) field to Preble and on to Chi- 
cago passes through the north part of Deca- 
tur. Another branch of this line reaches the 



- inborn part of the county and is said to 
extend to the Casey oil fields in Illinois. The 
• umping station properties are immense in 
dimensions. The estimated valuation as as- 
sessed by the county assessor is one hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars for 1907. The 
Lima line has five pipes lying in the same 
trench. These pipes are six inches in diam- 
eter and carry an immense volume of oil. 
The grounds at present occupied by the 
I tumping station at Preble consist of about 
eighty acres, upon which is situated its 
pumping machinery, a large number of resi- 
dences for its employes, a good-sized artifi- 
cial lake of water to be used in case of fire, 
as well as for some other uses, and sixteen 

monstrous boiler-iron tanks, perhaps thirty 
or forty feet high and from one hundred and 
fifty to two bundled feet in diameter, which 
are roofed by conical covers of iron. It is 
said that the capacity of each of these tanks 
is about two hundred and forty thousand 
barrels of oil. A look at the tank field re- 
minds one more of the show tents of some 
large aggregation like Barnum & Bailey's 
show than anything else. Along the lines 
there are occasional breaks that let the oil 
escape. When these are repaired the pools 
of oil are set on fire and the blue-black 
clouds of smoke rise hundreds of feel in 
height and resemble the destruction of a 
city in flames. 


The question is frequently asked, when 
did this stone road building begin and who 
was the instigator of it in Adams county. 
It may have had several instigators, but he 
who is most 'entitled to be known as the 
"father of the stone road" system in Adams 
county is Samuel Doak, an ex-county com- 
missioner. Long before he was chosen to 
h'l that very responsible office he was an ad- 
vocate of better roads and more drainage. 
'J lie roads and the drainage make this coun- 
try what it now is as compared with what 
it was forty years ago. The chief hindrance 
to the road improvements at an early date 
Was the mistaken idea that there was no 
road-making material in the county and that 
!'» ship it in would be too expensive for the 
advantages derived. Perhaps the first at- 
t<-mpt toward pike-making was along about 
l, '7^. when the town trustees of Decatur 

contracted to have Monroe street graded and 
graveled. The gravel proved to be sand of 
too fine a texture to be of much value. It 
was hauled from the Daily farm in section 
26, in Root township, about a mile from De- 
catur. This for a time checked the gravel 
road building in the north part of the county. 
The first gravel pikes of much value or ex- 
tent were made in the southern part of the 
county. They extended west and northwest 
from Geneva and were begun about 1890. 
These were made of coarse gravel and were 
pretty good dry weather roads, but cut to 
pieces badly in the wet spring time. The old 
Piqua road was graveled about this time; 
it was perhaps the first good gravel road in 
the north part of the county. Later the 
township trustees would buy the gravel and 
the land tax of the citizens was worked out 
by hauling gravel on certain pieces of road 

1 62 


as directed. In 18S8 the Rice & Bowers 
stone quarry north of Decatur began crush- 
ing stone for road purposes. There was a 
switch from the Grand Rapids & Indiana: 
tracks laid that the product might be 
shipped to other localities where stone roads 
were under construction. Several attempts 
to locate stone streets and roads were made, 
but they always resulted in failure until 
there was a joint petition gotten up includ- 
ing the townships of Washington and Kirk- 
land with the adjoining township on the 
Wells county side. Daily Sr Mock as attor- 
neys were employed to assist in getting the 
petitions in shape and having the proper 
elections advertised and held that when the 
decision at such elections was determined 
the will of the majority could be enforced. 
In Kirkland township David Steele took an 
active part in favor of the stone road project. 
as it ran past his farm. In Decatur John S. 
Bowers worked hard to secure its location, 
as he had stone to sell and wanted the road 
built. Joint petitions were filed and acted 
upon by the county boards ; the route as peti- 
tioned for and started at the west corpora- 
tion line of Decatur, went a mile and three- 
quarters, then south a half mile, then west 
two miles, then south four miles, then west 
to the county line at Couryviile and met the 
Bluffton division. In several attempts to 
vote a subsidy or tax for a stone road the 
majority was against the tax because there 
was no other issue before the election. The 
friends of the road waited to have the sub- 
sidy election held to a time near the holding 
of the general election, then this issue was 
made a part of the entire election and its ad- 
vocates carried their issue by a fair major- 
ity. However, Kirkland township voted 
against the tax by about fifty majority. 

This township was united in the petition 
with Washington, which, with its Decatui 
vote, won the issue. At that time a major- 
ity of the Adams county board of commis- 
sioners was absolutely opposed to such a 
measure as taxing the civil corporations 
through which the road was located for its 
construction, and as much as intimated that 
they would not permit it. 

The line was surveyed and an estimate 
made of the construction placed it at thirty- 
four thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars, 
or a little more than three thousand dollars 
a mile. Mr. Doak was the only county com- 
missioner that favored making the tax lew 
for the construction of the road. About all 
the argument that the opposing part of the 
board would make was: "Veil, veil, to 
make dot rote vill broke everypody up." The 
attorneys for the petitioners threatened legal 
proceedings if the law regarding the result 
of the subsidy election was not speedily com- 
plied with. The levy was then made and the 
road built. The contractors for this road 
were Miller, Williams & Cavalt. After all 
the hustle and bustle for the subsidy the 
crushers here furnished but a part of the ma- 
terial for the road. The bulk of it came 
from Waterville, Ohio. In Adams county 
there are about seven hundred miles of pub- 
lic road. Of that amount there is about one- 
seventh gravel pike, and about a fifth, or 
one hundred and forty miles, of stoned road. 
Something near the average cost of the con- 
struction of this road is three thousand two 
hundred dollars a mile. Since the first stone 
road was built in the county there have been 
four separate stone quarries and crashers 
operated in the Decatur quarries. There are 
quarries at Big Blue creek southeast of De- 
catur, at Pleasant Mills and at Buena Vista. 



AH of these furnish stone for road building. 
Running south from Decatur are three stone 
reads; a little way to the south they are 
.•ibout two miles apart and run to the south- 
ern part of the county. The center road 
connects Decatur with Geneva. There are 
many cross sections of stone road connecting 
these north and south roads, and the com- 
•missioners' court is crowded with petitions 
for new ones yet to be made. It now is a 
noticeable fact that those who were so 
alarmed lest everybody be broken up are 
now strongly in favor of good roads at the 
price they cost and would not have them re- 
moved from their premises for double the 
expense of building them. The lands 
through which these roads run are much 
higher in price than others and usually can 
find buyers at the figures asked for them. 
The methods of road building now are some- 

what different from those used at the time 
the first roads were built in this county. In 
1907 there were between thirty and forty 
improved dump wagons sold in Decatur to 
the contractors for stone road building. It 
is said that these wagons will bear up a 
four-horse load on good roads and that they 
can be unloaded in a half minute's time. 
That one of the contractors, Fred Hoffman 
& Son, has arranged for a train of ten or a 
dozen of these wagons to be drawn by a 
traction engine from the quarry or the cars 
to the place the material is used for road. 
At the present rate of road building within 
the next decade all of the principal roads of 
the county will be stoned. "Behold what a 
great fire a little spark kindleth," was never 
truer than the great change in sentiment on 
road building in Adams county. 


The mysteries of life are many and varied. 
The dictates of fate are no respecters of the 
wishes or aspirations of men. Napoleon 
said that "The god of war favors the army 
most that can command the greater number 
of complete battalions." This great com- 
mander conducted eighty fierce engagements 
111 his meteoric career without serious 
wounds. Fate seems to have marked him 
•or a slow and tedious death on the lonely 
ij-Ic in the sea after an intoxicating whirl at 
the crowned heads of Europe. After a most 
successful termination of the bloodiest con- 
flict in the new world the martyred Presi- 
dent. Abraham Lincoln, surrendered to the 
hand of fate. Generals Warren and Stone- 

wall Jackson fell at almost the first fire. 
Were it not better that Moscow or Water- 
loo had ended Napoleon's life? Or that' 
Warren be spared to share his military geni- 
us with his destitute Revolutionary patriots? 
This could not be. Fate had otherwise 
declared. The train of life will carry its 
passengers onward to their destination. 
They can neither anticipate nor retard the 
hand of fate. Nor can it be that men as 
officers or rulers make them more dear to 
their friends or families than those whose 
honorable careers have shown them to be 
worthy citizens. In Adams county the hand 
of fate has been at work. Accidents and 
disasters have done their parts. To enumer- 



ate them all would require a volume much 
beyond the scope of the present work. \\ ho 
first lost his life by violence or accident in 
this country will remain a volume sealed by 
the hand of fate. 

William Lewis, who was an early resident 
of Monmouth, dropped dead while directing 
some repairs about his mill in about 1840. 

Ex-Sheriff Zachariah Smith, who was 
elected in October, 1836, and served till 
1840 in Adams county, was drowned in the 
Saint Mary's river a short distance above 
Decatur on the 7th day of July, 1844. 

Tcbasco Burt was killed in Decatur when 
the Shackley Wheel Company's factory blew 
up in 1866. 

Herman Newroth, an engineer at the 
Ceylon grist mill, was carried through the 
wheel pit and killed in the spring of 1876. 

Henry Eilenberger was crushed to death 
by the falling of the buildings in the cyclone 
that demolished John Baumgartner's house 
in French township in 1871. 

Henry Cramer and his son, Charles 
Cramer, were drowned in the Saint Mary's 
river at Decatur in February, 1862. The 
son was skating and went through the ice 
and his father tried to help him out. 

Robert Allison came near meeting the 
same fate at Buena Vista. His son, Rufus 
K., fell into the river and his father nearly 
lost his life in an attempt to rescue him. 

Charles L. Schermyer was killed at the 
crossing of the Grand Rapids and Chicago & 
Erie railroads by a collision of trains that 
threw the watch tower over on him in 

Joseph Hill was killed just east of the 
Saint Mary's river by. falling from an Erie 
fi eight train and striking the bridge in 1891. 

A. Mc. Bolman, an ex-ccunty recorder, 

was killed by the kick of a horse on the 25th 
day of December, 1891. 

Joseph Huser was killed and found on the 
railroad track near Berne. Supposition was 
that he was murdered July 10, 1883. 

William F. Clendening was killed by a 
stroke of lightning while taking shelter dur- 
ing a thunderstorm under a tree a short dis- 
tance west of Geneva on the 31st day of 
July, 1884. 

Amos Baxtoe was killed in his house by 
an assassin at his home in Blue Creek town- 
ship in 1883. 

Frank Teaney was found dead at the 
roadside between Chattanooga and Berne. 
He left tow r n late in the evening, got down in 
the snow and froze to death, in February, 

Samuel Jorden, who in 1888 was a promi- 
nent member of the Decatur "Coonskin 
Club," a political organization, was shot and 
killed in Clay county, Missouri, while there 
on business. Robbery was the probable 
cause of his murder, in September, 1892. 

J. G. Evans was found dead on the rail- 
road track south of Monmouth. It was 
the supposition that he was murdered, for 
his money in' 1878. 

Henry Stopher's residence on the mud 
pike in Wabash township, was burned. He 
then had a son about twenty years old 
burned to death in 1864. 

The Orphanage, at Berne, burned down 
on the 19th day of April, 1899. Three of 
the orphans — Alaggie Dell, of Portland, In- 
diana, age nine; Mamie Broderick, of Chi- 
cago, aged fourteen, and Katie Goebclbcr- 
ger, of Cleveland, Ohio, aged fifteen years. 
were burned to death. 

Rodney Dennis was an oil rig builder. 
who was killed while removing some derrick 



timbers on a lease east of Geneva in the 
.'.;;r,mer of 1902. 

fate's chosen ground. 

There have been a number of deaths 
caused throughout the count)- in mysterious 
ways, but dates and names are wanting and 
no effort will be made to enumerate them, 
i iic hand of fate has perhaps rested most 
heavily upon that part of the county that is 
spanned by the Grand Rapids Railroad be- 
tween the Limberlost creek south of Geneva 
and the Wabash river north of Ceylon. 
Within these limits there have been about 
twenty sudden deaths, caused by railroad 
accidents. The first was: 

Ephraim Metcalf, who was frilled at the 
railroad crossing just north of Geneva in 
the spring of 1876. 

A strange man was killed between the 
limberlust creek and Geneva in 1878. No 
marks of identification could be found about 

Arthur Williams, the station agent at Cey- 
lon, attempted to pass under a freight train 
al Ceylon and was crushed to death in 

Kail road wreck at Ceylon on the iSth day 
1 October, 1895, killing three men. The 
k vork train was handling some repairs at the 
« abash river bridge and ran in on the Cey- 
i"ii switch. The switch was not closed and 
'he pay car crashed into the train on the 
-!<le track. These carpenters were killed : 
Harvey Makxt, William R. Brown and 
J>»nes Gibson. 

River Bridge Falls. — In October, 1897, 

the south span of the Wabash river bridge 
gave way with a heavy engine and freight 
cars. The train was moving southward 
when the engine and several cars went down. 
Two men were killed, but their names can- 
not be given. 

Lawrence Aspy was killed on the track 
south of Geneva in July, 1S95. He was 
perhaps a little hard of hearing and was run 
over by the cars. 

William Newcomer was killed at the 
crossing of Line street in Geneva in the 
summer of 1897. He was in conversation 
while the train was switching and was run 
over by the cars. 

Lavina Spicher, a girl about fifteen years 
of age, was killed just north of the river 
bridge in August, 189S, by the train. 

David Long while returning home from 
the Portland fair was killed in North Gen- 
eva by a special train that pulled in after him 
as he started north for his home on the even- 
ing of August 26, 1899. 

Daniel M. Hoskinson met his death near 
Ceylon while returning home in March. 
1901. He got caught in a cattle guard that 
held him till the train ran over him. 

Nora Shaner was run over and killed in 
the Geneva switch yards while playing on 
some empty flat cars in October, 1905. She 
was a child of about ten or twelve years of 

Dr. J. W. Collins was killed in November, 
1905, at the railroad crossing just north of 
Geneva, where Metcalf lost his life. The 
train killed his horse and demolished his 
buggy, breaking the doctor's limbs. 

1 66 



Adams county was organized by the 
legislative enactment of January 23. 1S36. 
Union township was organized as a sepa- 
rate civil corporation about 1840. Among 
the earliest settlers in this township were 
Daniel Hines, Andrew Luckey, John Wal- 
ters, David Erwin and Christian F. Blakey. 
The whole country was all woods at that 
time. The roads were simply "by roads,"' 
cut from one clearing to another. There 
are no towns in this township, but at various 
times there have been country stores that were 
a great accommodation to the fanners in the 
springtime, when the roads were nearly im- 
passable. This township now has some good 
stoned roads and has arranged for others 
to be built. As a fanning country it is one 
of the best in the county. The schools and 
churches at an early day received much at- 
tention by the residents. The school houses 
were first built and used for school and 
church purposes combined. Some of the 
log school houses were the Hines school 
house, in section 9, built in 1845 i trie Caskey 
school house, in section 31, built in 1S46; 
the Schnep school house and Walters school 
house, built in 1848, and the Reiter school 
house, in 1853. The first frame school 
house built in the township was in what 
was later known as the Erwin school, in 
section 9. The first brick school house was 
erected in what was known as the Caskey 
school district. This was built to replace the 
frame destroyed by lire after a warm school 
district fight in the selection of a school 
teacher, perhaps in 1884-5. This brick was 
remodeled and rebuilt several years later and 
this school is now known as the Spulle. - dis- 

trict. The first brick residence in this 
township was built by Simon Barkley in sec- 
tion 5. Among the list of church buildings 
are the Clark's chapel, in section 10, which 
was the first brick church in the township, 
and was built in 1881. Its congregation oc- 
cupied a log church for a number of years 
before this structure was built. One of the 
finest church buildings in the township is 
known as the Emmanuel's Evangelical 
Lutheran church in the Blakey neighbor- 
hood, in section 24. This is a fine brick 
edifice, erected in 1891, and now has some 
other valuable church property, as school 
house, parsonage and grounds. From a 
small beginning in 1858 this congregation 
has grown and prospered. In 1865 it started 
its church school with about a dozen and a 
half of scholars; it now has a large congre- 
gation and fine church property. Another 
brick building is that of the Evangelical As- 
sociation, which has a tasty brick edifice a 
few miles east of Decatur. The Union 
chapel, on the line between Root and Union 
townships, has a long and interesting his- 
tory. The original church was burned 
down, but was rebuilt in 1873. In this 
township many of the first churches were 
log structures. Clark's chapel, in section 10, 
a Methodist church; the Woods chapel, in 
section 15, a United Brethren church; the 
Valley church, a United Brethren church, 
and the Grove church, all come under this 
list, bul ii is impossible to give the dates of 
their erection. The estimated population of 
Union township in 1907 is 1,105, tMe 
number of voters, 221 ; and the school enum- 
eration, 403. Until i860 the townships of 



Indiana had three trustees. Commonly the 
president of the board of trustees was the 
inspector of elections in the township. The 
names of all of these trustees cannot he 
given because they fail to appear upon the 
county records. Jacob W ending, 1847: 
Noah Glass, 1S48; G. D. Racket, 1849; An- 
drew Lucky, 1S51; F. J. Gillig, 1852; M. 

Spillman, 1S54; George Luckey, 1857; John 
H. Blakey, 1859; David Envin, 1S72; 
Elijah Walters, 1876, Ferdinand Renking, 
1876; David Gieckler, 1880; W. I. B. Wass, 
1884; Frederick F. Freeh, 1886; William 
Erwin, 18SS; John D. Neidiinger, 1892; 
Frederick Koldeway, 1S98; John A. Bark- 
ley, 1904. 


The present limits of Root township are 
described by a block of territory six miles 
square that is four miles west of the Ohio 
state line and directly south of Allen county, 
Indiana. When the county was first organ- 
ized Root township comprised all of what 
is now the twelve townships of Adam? coun- 
ty. As the lands were entered new town- 
ships were organized to meet the demands of 
the growing settlements and supply offices 
for those who were politically inclined. 
Some of the earliest permanent settlers in 
the present Root township were Robert 
Douglas, m 1820; Joshua Lister, in 1828; 
John Reynolds and Daniel Ball, in 183,1; 
John K. Evans, in 1832; Samuel L. Rugg 
and Vaschal Ball, in 1833. This township 
is on the line of the Wayne trace, later 
known as the Piqua road, and was much 
earlier in settlement than several of the other 
civil corporations of the county. The town 
of Monmouth, which is located in this 
township, was laid out and the plat recorded 
on the 26th day of June, 1836. Its lots arc 
sixty-six by one hundred and thirty-two feet 
m size. Its streets were Main, Clinton, 
Franklin, Spring and Wayne. The present 
Piqua road was one of the streets named. 

In March, 1858, Ziba Dorwin, by order of 
the county board of commissioners, vacated 
thirty-one lots, as shown on the original 
town piat. Monmouth was once quite a 
business center, much in advance of Deca- 
tur, but at the present time Goldsmith's de- 
scription of a "Deserted Village" would 
pretty well describe its condition. The com- 
pletion of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Rail- 
road read its death knell. Since the Spring 
field &. Fort Wayne Railroad passes through 
the town it has revived a little, but for the 
present its palmy days are in the distant 
past. It now contains a few good houses, one 
brick among the number, a graded school 
building, two stores, a blacksmith shop 
and a graveyard. Its church buildings have 
been converted into fire wood, its four or five 
taverns have crumbled into decay and a gen- 
eral dilapidated appearance surrounds the 
town. William Lewis was one of its earliest 
residents. He was a colored man, who 
operated a corn grinding mill at Monmouth 
and then owned a large tract of land adjoin- 
ing the town, it is said that the first school 
taught in the township was conducted, in 
Monmouth by Sarah McKisic: that the 
building used was not built for a school 



house, but was a round log cabin with the 
ground for a floor ; that this teacher was not 
a public school teacher, but taught a sub- 
scription school in the summer time. Some 
of the first school districts in Root township 
were known as the Gorsline school, in sec- 
tion 17 ; the Randal school, in section 22, and 
the Wise school, in the northeast corner of 
section iS. There is much uncertainty as 
to the exact time when these houses were 
first used, but most of them within the date 
between 1840 and 1S50. The first set of 
frame buildings came into use about 1852. 
This township doubtless had the first frame 
house in the county. The first one of which 
much record can be gotten was a frame ad- 
dition to the Oakland tavern, built by An- 
drew Wise in 183S. Mr. Wise came from 
near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and brought 
his nails, glass and sash with him when he 
came. At the time he came Monmouth had 
twelve log" cabin houses. The first church 
building in this township was a log structure 
that was located near the northeast corner 
of section 22, on Seventeen-Mile creek. 
Some of the first leaders of this church were 
Benjamin Rice. J. R. Peoples, Isaiah Lew- 
is and William Pillars. This church build- 
ing was erected in 1840 and its name was 
Alpha. About twenty-three years later a new 
frame church building was built a little east 
of the log one, and this took the original 
name, and in its churchyard lies the remains 
of many of the earliest residents of the north 
part of the county. 

Another early church building was erected 
north of Monmouth in section 17 in 1S65 
and is a' frame. This was built by the Eng- 
lish Lutherans and named Concord church. 
Many year? before this building was erected 
the Gorsline school house was used by this 

congregation for church purposes. In 1S54 
there was a frame church built in Monmouth 
on inlot No. 17 by the Baptist church or- 
ganization. Doubtless this was one of the 
first, if not the first, frame church building 
erected in the county. In 1870 the United 
Brethren built a frame church in the north- 
ern part of Monmouth near the graveyard. 
In 1868 the Methodist congregation con- 
verted one of the Ziba Dorwin tavern build- 
ings into a church, but this has long since 
been abandoned. The German Lutheran 
people in the northern part of the township 
as early as 1841 built a log church building 
in section II. This was used for both 
church and school purposes. In 1851 a 
large frame church took its place and was 
used by this congregation until 1879, at 
which time the only brick church in the 
township was built. This building is a fine 
structure, about forty-five by ' seventy-five 
feet in size, and is known as the Saint Peter's 
Lutheran church. It is frequently called the 
"Fuelling church," as it is in the Fuelling 
neighborhood. This property consists of a 
church building, school house, parsonage 
and teacher's dwelling, and a conservative 
estimate would place the value of this prop- 
erty at about seventeen thousand dollars. 
Root township has two more towns within 
its borders. The town of Williams is situ- 
ated on the north line of the county, nine 
miles west of the Ohio state line, on the 
Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad. It was 
laid out and the plat recorded on the 7th 
day of June, 1S72. Its originators were 
David Crabbs and Benjamin Rice. This 
town has two streets. Main, which runs east 
and west, and Adams, a north and south 
street. It has fifty-four lots and was one of 
the timber towns that sprang into existence 



when the heavy forests were being removed 
and the railroads loaded with lumber for 
market. The timber interests, as heading 
factories and saw mills, were removed and 
the- town ceased to grow or improve. At 
present there is a postoffice, a general store, 
a saloon and creamer}'. This town has some 
good houses, among which is a good district 
school building. 

It has been frequently mentioned that 
among the tribes of Israel that the<-e was one 
lost in the shuffle somewhere on the way. 
Now, this may not be exactly the case with 
the third town in Root township, but it is 
too nearly true to be a good joke. At the 
north end of the Winchester road, in sec- 
tions 19 and 20, the town of Manhym was 
laid out in 1S34 by R. L. Brittson. This 
town was situated three and a half miles 
northwest of Decatur on the Saint Mary's 
river, on the farm that is now the land of 
John Evans. This location competed for 
the county seat in 1S36, but was unsuccess- 
ful and the lots remaining unsold in 1840 
were vacated by John Spencer, the pur- 
chaser of the remainder of the town site of 
Mr. Brittson. There were six town lots 
sold to other parties and in 1865 a suit to 
quiet the title was brought by Emanuel 
Woods and others. This town site was lo- 
cated on the principal line of travel from 
Winchester to Fort Wayne at an early day 

and is a nice location. The first brick house 
in Root township *;as built in section 34 in 
1870. This township has the distinction of 
having the first brick school house in the 
county. It was built by Trustee John 
Christen in the Dent district in 1873. The 
estimated population of Root township in 
1907 is one thousand six hundred and thirty ; 
the number of voters three hundred and 
twenty-six; the school enumeration three 
hundred and eighty-two. In the 
corner of section 35, in this township, is lo- 
cated the ''Steele's Park,'' which is a fine 
one-hundred-and-fiftf.en-acre tract, nicely set 
out in groves of. native trees; has an artifi- 
cial lake of several acre> and is at present 
used by the Great Northern Indiana Fair 
Association for its annual displays of the 
various products of the county. There may 
be nicer fair grounds in the state, but they 
are surely hard to find. 

The election inspectors and trustees of 
this township have been: William Elzey, 
Sr., 1846; Thomas Fisher, 1S48; D. Garvar, 
1S51 ; George A. Dent; 1S52; B. J. Rice. 
1855; George Hunter. 1858; Samuel Moses, 
1S59; Samuel Aber, i8r>4; John Woy, 
1865; John Christen, 1867; Perry Robin- 
son, 1S76; Henry Luttman, 18S0; L. W. 
Lewton, 18S4: Isaac Brown. 18S8; L. \V. 
Lewton. 1892; Lewis Boknecht, 1898; Ed- 
ward Luttman, 1904. 


Preble township was organized in 1S3S in 1S30, who settled near the Winchester 

and is situated in the northwest corner of road ; Jacob Yager, Christian Micssing. Con- 

tlie county. It joins Welis and Allen coun- rad Renking, Louis Kcppert, Christ : an 

ties and is four miles wide and six miles Fuhrman, Michael Springier and Charles 

">ng. Its first residents v\cre Joseph Mann, Heckman. One of the nearest market points 



to the northern part of tins township is tner has been abandoned and the Salem 

Fort Wayne. At an early day the river was church building has been supplanted by a 

used to go to and come from market. The very fine and expensive modern brick 

Muldoon's mill was on the river in Alien structure that was built in 1903. There are 

county just beyond the north limits of this about sixty families and one hundred and 

township. It was built along about 1S40. eighty members who are attendants at this 

Charles Heckman owned an ashery and church. The present minister is the Rev. 

operated a general country store on his farm C. Schneider. As the Lutheran settlements 

in section 3. One of the first steam saw grew the church accommodations were no 

mills in the county was built at Freidheim in longer adequate to meet the demands of the 

1853 by Ruuck & Hoemeyer. congregation. The parochial schools were 

Preble is a township of churches. This conducted with the church and the distances 
township has over sixty thousand dollars' 

worth of fine church property. There is 
hardly a corner in the township from which 
a church spire cannot be seen. This town- 
ship, as most others, used its school houses 
for church purposes at first until church 

to school became a matter of consideration. 
The first additional church was built to the 
east of the river from Freidheim, in what is 
known as the Dirkson neighborhood. This 
was located on the old Piqua road and called 
the Saint Form's Lutheran church. The first 

buildings were erected. The Wafel school church here was built about 1847 and con- 
house was built about 1841 and was located tin " e(! in «« lir;til the Present elegant brick 
in the west part of section 26. The Fuhr- edifi ce was erected in 1877. The minister 

man school house was about two miles north 
of this in section 23 ; was built in 1843. 
These houses were both log structures. In 
1852 the Dirkson school house, a frame, was 
built. The Fruchte school house was a 
frame, and was built in 1853. At the be- 

in charge at this church is the Rev. II. C. 
Jaus. The next Lutheran church built in 
this township is known as the Saint Peter's 
Lutheran church, and is situated a short dis- 
tance northwest of Preble station. This 
church was erected about 1878, has a large 

ginning the Lutheran people settled in the congregation and as all the others, a paro- 

northwest part of the township and started chial school. The minister in charge here is 

a church organization in 1S38 at Friedheim, the Rev. J. H. Klausing. The church at 

which never has been more of a town than Freidheim is the parent church of all the 

to contain a saw mill, general store, paro- olher Lutheran churches in this township, 

chial school and church buildings. The cen- Tt is known as the Zion Evangelical Luther- 

tral and southern parts of the township had an church. 

several church denominations, among which Some of the members of this church lived 

were the Evangelical Association, which, near this locality when there was no Adams 

built a church house at the southwest corner county, it being a township of Allen county 

of section 13 in 1848. and the German Re- in 1834. The first two Zion churches here 

formed organization, which built the Salem were log structures. The third building was- 

church at the east side of section 28 in 1857. a frame and was constantly in use for over 

These were both frame buildings. The for- thirty years. The fourth church building,. 



the present massive brick structure, is one of 
the best in the county. This church has a 
large congregation, with the Rev. C. B. 
Preuss as minister since 1893. This town- 
ship has two villages, the towns of Preble 
and Magley, each of which are railroad sta- 
tions in the southern part of the township.. 
The town of Magley was begun in 18S2 by 
'Jacob Magley, who then started a small 
general country store and served as station 
agent for the first few years. This town has 
some nice residences, a telephone station and 
stock yards, and one of the largest general 
stores in any small town in the county. It 
also has a creamery that was built by Levi 
Sarin some ten or twelve years ago. The 
farmers in this section of the county ship a 
great many cans of milk to the Chicago 
market each week. Robert Case, the store- 
keeper, is at this time the postmaster and 
coa! merchant in addition to his extensive 
store interests. This town is located a mile 
from the Wells county line and two miles 
west of Preble .and has perhaps fifty resi- 
dents. The town of Preble is located about 
four miles directly west of Decatur and is 
the oil town of the county. This town was 
laid out and the plat recorded on the 14th 
day of November, 18S4, by Daniel Hoff- 
man and David Werling. Its original plat 
contained thirteen lots that are fifty by one 
hundred and fifty feet in size. Within the 
next three years David Werling laid out an 
addition to the town. A tile mill and a saw 
mil! were located here soon after the town 
was begun. This village now has a large 

hotel, a good country store, a barber shop, 
butcher shop and saloon. The Standard Oil 
Company has extensive business interests 
here that require the presence of a large 
force of men, who permanently reside in 
Preb'.e. The oil company's pumping station 
buildings are about ail brick. To 
the east and southeast is a town 
of great big boiler-iron tanks that 
resemble the tents of a show ground. 
This town has one brick residence, that of 
County Commissioner David Werling. The 
first steam circular saw milt operated in this 
township was located in section 27 and was 
owned by Frederick Peck and Lewis Fruch- 
te. The estimated population of Preble 
township in 1907 is one thousand three hun- 
dred and eighty-five; number of voters, two 
hundred and seventy-seven ; the school 
enumeration, three hundred and ninety-sev- 
en. It is impossible to give a complete list 
of township trustees, but commonly the 
trustee or president of the board of trustees 
until 1S60 was the inspector of elections. 
Frederick Buuck. 1S46; Ernst Stopenhagcu. 
1848; Jacob Yager, 1850; Frederick- Buuck, 
1851; George Kieffer. 1854; Ernst Stopen- 
hagen, 1855; A. Kieffer, 1856; Ernst Stop- 
enhagen, 1857: A. Kieffer, 1S5S: Conrad 
Reir.king, 1859; John Rupright, 1S60; John 
Archbold, 1864; John Rupright, 1S65 ; 
Thomas Archbold, 1868; F. W. Gallemyer. 
1S69: Dcdrich Buuck. 1878; F. W. Galle- 
myer, 1882; Lewis Fruchte, 18S6; Henry 
Dirkson, 1890; Lewis Fruchte, 1894; G. W. 
Rupright, 1900; Lewis Kline, 1904. 




Kirkland township is four by six miles in 
size and was organized in 1S41. It was 
named after the son of Samuel L. Rugg, 
then an officer of the count). This was one 
of the last townships organized in the county 
and some of the earliest residents were: 
John Hartman, William Dehl, Samuel 
Steele, Daniel Wcldy, Samuel Adgitt, Au- 
gustus LeBrun, Robert Niblick and William 
Beinelce. In 1850 this township claimed the 
distinction of having the oldest man in east- 
ern Indiana. He was William Nottingham, 
who lived in section 4 on what is now W. 
D. Hoffman's farm. At that time it is said 
that he was one hundred and five years old. 
This township had the fourth steam saw 
mill in the county, it was built by William 
Dehl in 1856 and was located in section 2. 
Until about 1S80 there were no towns in this 
township. The town plat of Courryville 
was recorded on the 261b day of February, 
1880. This town has twenty lots and two 
streets, Main and Calhoun; is located on the 
west hue of the Vour.ty, three miles from 
either end of the township. Courryville is 
on the Cloverleaf Railroad and is one of the 
timber towns that ceased to grow since the 
timber industries have been removed. The 
proprietor of this town site is Henry Jack- 
son. The town of Peterson is another vil- 
lage. This is a mile from the north line and 
the same distance from the east boundary of 
the township. It was once quite a business 
center in the timber trade. Steele & Len- 
hart operated an extensive saw mill, heading- 
factory and stirrup works here in the seven- 
ties, but these industries have ceased to exist. 
It now has a blacksmith shop, grain ware- 

house, an elevator, stock yards and general 
store, which is kept by H. A. Eriner, who is 
ticket agent, freight agent, storekeeper and 
telephone manager. This village has never 
been platted, but its grounds are bought and 
sold by metes and bounds. The second brick 
school house within the county was built 
here in 1874 by Trustee Daniel Weldy. It 
was torn down in 1893 by Trustee Joshua 
Bright and a fine two-room brick graded 
school house built to take its place. The 
first frame house in this township was the 
residence of Samuel Steele and was built in 
1852. The first brick residence was built 
by Robert Niblick in 1856, in section 10. 
At Mr. Niblick's house for a long time the 
postefhee of Gaih was kept. In 1868 the 
first frame church was built in section 26, 
which has later been called Honduras. This 
is but a cross-road corner, that took its 
name from the. postofhee kept there. It has 
a smali store and blacksmith shop. This 
church was used by several denominations 
and was erected by the Christian Union or- 
ganization. Among some of those inter- 
ested in its erection were : James Sarf , Vin- 
cent D. Bell, Jesse Smith and Isaac Sutbine. 
This church building burned down and was 
replaced about 1886 by another frame known 
as the Zion Christian Union church. In 
1877, or thereabout, the River Brethren 
erected a substantial frame church in section 
23, on the present Decatur & Bluffton stoned 
road. The early school houjes in this town- 
ship were all log" structures. The Hartman- 
school was at the present town of Peterson. 
The Steele school was the election school 
house. The Hoffman school house was in 



section 14. The Beech Grove school was in 
section 16. The Steele school house was 
built in 1848 and the Dehl school house was 
the first frame schoc! house built in the town- 
ship. This township had a large amount of 
wet land and until the railroad passed 
through the township in 1880 its develop- 
ment was backward. One of the first stone 
roads in the county was built through this 
township in 1892-3 and against the will of 
a majority of its taxpayers. 

The estimated population of Kirkland 
township in 1907 is one thousand one hun- 
dred and forty-five; the number of voters 

two hundred and twenty-nine, and the school 
enumeration is three hundred and thirty. 
The township trustees and election inspectors 
are: Martin Kaufman, 1846; Jerry Rus- 
sell, 1847; Samuel Steele, 1848; Daniel 
Weldy, 1850; D. L. Kaufman, 1852; Sam- 
uel Steele, 1853; Daniel Weldy, 1854; 
Henry Steele, 1855; Daniel Weldy, 1856; 
John Hower, 1S58: Joseph Steele, 1859; 
Jonathan Bowers, 1866; Daniel Weldy, 
1872; Samuel Beavers, 1876; Joshua Bright, 
1SS0; David Steele. 1S84; Joshua Bright, 
1888; George Brown, 1892; William D. 
Hoffman, 1898; Joseph V. Pease, 1904. 


Washington township contains the county 
seat and much of its history is closely re- 
lated with that of Decatur, which should be 
examined in this connection. This township 
was organized in 1838. Outside of the 
town of Decatur there were several churches, 
mills and schools that were of much im- 
portance to the country residents. The town 
of Decatur was under the control of the 
township authorities until its incorporation 
in 1854. This township had its settlements 
as: The Andrews settlement, the Coffee 
neighborhood, Eli Zimmerman's corner and 
so on. The old Winchester road ran a mile 
from the west side of the township and was 
the principal road traveled to the south part 
of the county. Some of the earliest resi- 
dents were: James Niblick, Eli Zimmer- 
man, Bazil Hendricks, Charles Scher- 
riiyer, Daniel Coffee, Jacob Christ, Thomas 
W. Andrews, Andrew Luekey and Wesley 
Merryman. What is now known as the 

Washington church was among the first 
built in the township outside of Decatur. 
This church is located at the northwest cor- 
ner of section 20 and was built by the Meth- 
odist congregation about 1855. It has been 
remodeled a number of times, but is still in 
use. In 1883 the Saint Paul's church was 
built at the corner of section 24, on the east 
stone road. This is a frame structure and is 
used by several church organizations. The 
only brick church in the township outside cf 
Decatur is what is known as the Beery 
church, situated at the southwest corner of 
section 6. This building was erected in 
1 886 by the Brethren in Christ denomina- 
tion. This church is on the west line of the 
township and a mile east of Peterson. 
Among the early school buildings were the 
Johnson school, southeast of Decatur, in sec- 
tion 14; the Coffee school house was later 
built on the mud pike road, just west of this. 
The Stultz school house was in the southeast 



corner of the township and was superseded 
by a small frame called the Brandyberry 
school house, in section 25. The Washing- 
ton school house was among the first country 
school houses built in the township. It. was 
just a few rods from where the church of the 
same name was built. The first teacher in 
this log structure is said to have been Mar- 
garet A. Allen, who taught in 1S46. In 
1880 there was a graded school building two 
stories in height built in this district, but 
the. graded work was discontinued after a 
few terms. This building was torn down in 
1904 and a new and modern structure put 
up to take its place. The first brick house 
erected in this township was that of Sam- 
uel L. Rugg, in Decatur. The first country 
brick residence was the Studabaker home- 
stead, which was built about 1873. The 
largest brick country residence in this town- 
ship, and one of the most modern and tasty 
in the county, is that of Clark J. Lutz, in 
section II, southeast of Decatur. In his 
dreams the fortune hunter delights to think 
of buried treasure. The gold— that shining 
gold which men have toiled and slaved their 
lives away to save for some one else to 
spend. An old resident tells us that just 
after the sale of the Rivare Reservation by 
the Indian owners in 1826 that a band of 
Indians came down the Saint Mary's river 
and camped at an Indian village on what is 
now known as Numbers creek. The treas- 
urer of the tribe, an old chief, was intrusted 
with the safe keeping of the money. He 
went up the creek a short distance and se- 
creted it near a crooked oak tree. Some 
time in the night he took violently sick and 
died before he could reveal the treasure. He 
said, however, that it was near a crooked oak 

tree. Diligent search failed to locate the 
gold. That as late of 1865 a band of five 
Indians searched the creek for the money 
but could never locate it. The locations 
were in Root township and section 4, in 
Washington township. Air. John Schurger 
now owns these lands and says that he really 
does not know how rich he may some day 
be, as he may plow this gold up almost any 
day. Anyone can locate the creek. Mr. 
Schurger says that he chopped the crooked 
oak down long ago, but who can find the 
buried gold ? 

In Washington township is located the 
county infirmary. It is perhaps the largest 
building in the county. It is two stories in 
height and has eighty-two apartment rooms. 
The first infirmary building was a frame 
structure that was built in 1875 at a prob- 
able cost of about two thousand dollars. 
The present large brick structure is of ample 
proportions for the present at least ; was 
built in 1895 at a cost of about thirty-five 
thousand dollars. Besides this building 
there is a superintendent's residence, two 
large barns, the heating plant and a number 
of smaller buildings. This farm consists of 
a two-hundrod-and-seventy-acre tract, in 
sections 13 and 14, and is about two miles 
southeast of Decatur. The superintendents of 
this institution have been : Hampton Fris- 
toe, 1875; Andrew J. Teeple, 1877; W. II. 
H. France, 1883; George W. Haefling, 
1 89 1, and J. R. Graber, 1894 to the present 
time. Though it is a very unpleasant 
thought to one of average independence and 
even ordinary intelligence to consider a 
home in the "poor house," it is one of the 
greatest blessings of a civilized country. 
Many of those unfortunate inmates have 



come to want from age and an incapacity to 
save their earnings while young and vigor- 

The population of Washington township, 
including Decatur, as the trustee has juris- 
diction in the city as well as the country, is 
estimated in 1907 as 7,020. The school 
enumeration of Washington township alone 
is 474 ; of Decatur alone is 1,318. The num- 
ber of voters in the city and township is 

The township trustees and election in- 

spectors are: Andrew I.uckey, 1846; John 
Boncord, 184S; P. F. Robinson, 1849; Dan- 
iel Coffee, 1850; Anthony Kphn, 185 1; D. 
D. Earnhart. 1852; Joseph C. Plummer, 
1853; Dedrich Reiter, 1854; Jesse Niblick, 
1859; John Meibers, 1S64; Jesse Niblick, 
1868; Conrad Brake, 1809; Jesse Niblick, 
1870; Anthony Holthouse, 1874; Jesse Nib- 
lick, 1876; Harlo Mann, 1878; A. J. Hill. 
1880; John King, 1882 ; William Blackburn, 
1884; J. H. Voglewede, 1888; John Steele, 
1S92; T. S. Coffee, 1898; Henry Hite, 1904. 


Saint Mary's township was one of the 
first in the county. At its beginning it com- 
prised all of what is now Adams county ex- 
cept the present Root and Union townships. 
This township has some historic interests 
that are different from any other of which 
we have mentioned. It contains an Indian 
reservation of about one thousand six hun- 
dred acres of land, which lies principally be- 
tween the towns of Rivare and Pleasant 
Milfs on- the east side of a line dividing sec- 
tions 16 and 17 and 20 and 21, This reser- 
vation was used as a residence by certain 
Indian families and a general camping 
ground by the tribes as they traveled from 
Girty's town — now Saint Mary's. Ohio — to 
Fort Wayne semi-annually to receive their 
payments for lands sold to the United 
States in 1818 and 1S26. After 1832 these 
Indian tribes, were removed to west of the 
Mississippi river. It is said that Robert 
Smith came to Saint Mary's township as a 
resident in T832, and that his son. John 
Smith, was born on the 2d dav of October, 

183S. This was the fust white child born 
in this township. Some of the other early 
residents of this tosvnship were a Mr. 
A.yres, who came in 1S21, and settled in 
section 16, on the Wayne trace; that John 
Ross came in 1S29 and settled in section 28. 
and Esias Daily in 1833 and settled in sec- 
tion 26 ; that Zachariah Smith and William 
Heath, Sr., came in 1S36. Andrew Teeple, 
Robert D. Tisdale, Elisha Gulic and Ardil- 
las Carter were all early settlers. The 
Wayne trace passes along the Saint Mary's 
river and through the Rivare Reservation, 
which was platted for allotment on the 26th 
day of May, 1S55. This township has two 
towns, Rivare and Pleasant Mills, also two 
railroads. The plat of Pleasant Mills was 
recorded on the 8th day of September, 
1846. The town was laid out by F. A. God- 
dard and George W. Heath in thirty iots, 
sixty-six by one hundred and thirty-two feet 
in size. On the 27th day of December, 
1850. an addition of thirty-two lots was 
made by the original proprietors of tins town 



site. Pleasant Alills is on the plank road 
route connecting Saint Mary's with Fort 
Wayne, and in the fifties was a flourishing 
town. Eefore that time the river was used 
as a means of travel and for carrying prod- 
uce to market. The boats and large canoes 
conveyed grain, lumber, furs and other 
produce from Goddard's stores and mills 
down the river to market. The first mill was 
on the east side of the river and was built in 
1834. The next was on the west side and 
was built four years later, with buhrs for 
grinding grain. This mill changed to a 
woolen factory and a new grist mill built in 
1846. This was operated for about fifty 
years, and rebuilt in 1896 by J. C. Cowan 
and W. W. Smith.. In this village many of 
the old buildings have outlived their useful- 
ness and have been torn down. However, 
one of the old Goddard store buildings is 
yet standing at the corner of Main and Jef- 
ferson streets and is used as a residence and 
baiber shop. Pleasant Mills has three 
churches, the Baptist, a brick building, put 
up in 1878; a United Brethren structure 
that shows its age, and a new frame house, 
built by the Methodist congregation. This 
town, unlike Monmouth, when its railroad 
was completed in 18S0, regained some of its 
lost vitality and took on new life. It opened 
up a grain market and now has several good 
general stores. This town has a large brick 
graded school building. The original was a 
two-story, two-room brick building that was 
put up in 1881 by Trustee A. M. Fuller. 
This was remodeled and enlarged in 1897 
and an additional primary room built in 
1906 by Trustee William II. Teeple. Pleas- 
ant Mills has one brick residence, one res- 
taurant, one blacksmith shop, one barber 
shop, one grain elevator, one livery stable, 

one butcher shop, one hardware store, three- 
general stores and one doctor, Dr. J. W. 
Vizard, state representative for Adams 
county at this time. 

The town of Rivare was laid out by David 
Shaffer and the plat recorded on the 13th 
day of October, 18S3. This town originally 
had twelve lots and three streets. In No- 
vember of the same year George J. Bipus 
laid out an addition of forty-nine lots that 
are fifty by one hundred and fifty feet in 
size. This town has two churches, one a 
United Brethren frame structure, that was 
built about 18S0, and an elegant brick edi- 
fice, erected by the Methodist congregation 
in 1901. This is the finest and most expen- 
sive church building in the township. In 
this village are some good residences, a saw 
and planing mill, a general store, kept at 
present by E. H. Cowan, who is also the 
postmaster — the postofnee at this town is 
known as Bobo. In 1887 Trustee J. C. 
Cowan built a graded school building two 
stories high, with two rooms, in Rivare, 
thus making two graded school districts for 
this township. Among the earliest school 
buildings were the Ross school house, built 
upon what is .sometimes called the "Back- 
bone," a ridge running back from the river. 
This house was built about 183S and was 
situated in section 27. The Smith school 
house, in section 8. The Hawk school 
house, northeast of Rivare, in section 4. 
These school houses were all log structures 
of the genuine pioneer type. The first brick 
school house in this township was built in 
the Jones district, in section 22, and put up 
about i8!>o. The Evangelical Association 
has a good frame church building in section 
3. The old Mount Tabor church house is 
still standing in section 8, south of Rivare. 



Its history would be interesting reading if 
all were given. The Hope Well church build- 
ing to the cast of Pleasant Mills, in section 
28, is a log structure, but has long since been 
used as a residence. This township has two 
railroads, the Clover Leaf, which passes 
through Pleasant Mills, and the Chicago & 
Lrie, through Rivare. 

The estimated population of Saint Mary's 
township in 1907 is 1.555. l' ne school 
enumeration, 394, and the number of voters, 
31 t. The township trustees and election in- 
spectors have been: Samuel Smith, 1846; 
John Foredyce, 1847; Daniel YVinans, 1849; 

John Foredyce, 1S50; Richard Winans, 
1S52: W. C. Gornley, 1853; E. B. Cowan, 
1S54: Israel Cowan, 1855; J. R. Cowan, 
1856; E. A. Bunner, 1857; J. R. Cowan, 
185S; Eisas Daily, 1859; J. R. Cowan, 
i860; A. T. Daily, 1861 ; Robert Sptllman, 
1863; James McCullough, 1864; Eisas 
Daily, 1865; Edward McLeod, 1867; Rich- 
ard Winans, 1S70; William C. Jones, 1872; 
E. W. Cowan, 1876; Joel Falk, 187S; A. M. 
Fuller, 18S0; J. C. Cowan, 1884; Joseph 
W. Smith, 18SS; William W. Smith, 1892; 
Charles W. Yager, 1898; William H. Tee- 
pie, 1904. 


In 1820 Blue Creek township was the 
home of one of the first white residents of 
Adams county. His name was William 
Lowe, and his cabin was built at the east 
end of Thompson's prairie on what then was 
known as the Godfrey trace. This was an 
Indian trail from the Saint Mary's to the 
Wabash ana) Salamonie rivers. It connected 
the Godfrey reservation with the Rivare 
reservation just across the river from Pleas- 
ant Mills. Mr. Lowe remained in this part 
of the country until 1822, at which time his 
IKissessions went into the ownership of a 
Mr. Thompson, after whom the prairie was 
named. It is said that Mr. Thompson died 
in the winter of 1831 and was buried by 
some residents of Willshire. Ohio. That as 
ihere was no lumber 'at that time to make 
his coffin, a large ash tree was cut down, a 
•«g cut from it and split in halves; that a 
trough was made' for his coffin. It was 
placed upon a sled drawn by oxen to the 

place of burial. This township has one of 
the oldest public roads in the county, the 
Quaker trace, or the Fort Recovery road, as 
it is sometimes called. Several old residents 
state that they well remember seeing Indian 
families passing to and from their reserva- 
tions along the Godfrey trace; that it was 
not unusual to see a squaw leading a pony 
well loaded with lodge poles, sheet-iron ket- 
tle, skins of animals and other trappings; 
that there were frequently several ponies 
passing along one after another at the same 
time; that some had as many as three or 
four children on one horse; that the Indian 
man seemed to have little to do but to fol- 
low along the trail with the dogs; that in 
the main these Indians were a very dirty, 
shaggy-looking set of people; some wore 
blankets and others were dressed partly in 
skins, with some white men's clothing; that 
some of the children and squaws had highly 
colored scarfs of vellow, red or blue cotton 

i 7 8 


goods wrapped around their bodies over 
their clothing of skins; that the men all 
were armed with rifles, knives and toma- 
hawks, and usually carried them wherever 
they went. Blue Creek is one of the smaller 
civil corporations and has but one town; 
that is the village of Salem, which was 
platted on the 14th day of November, 1867, 
by George W. Syphers. This town is lo- 
cated at the crossing of the Willshire and 
Fort Recovery roads in section 17, and has 
a blacksmith shop, a church, two general 
stores and some pretty good residence prop- 
erties. This little town has the distinction 
of having the only Presbyterian church in 
the county south of Decatur. This was 
built here about 1850, was a log structure 
and has long since been torn away. A few 
years later the Methodist people erected a 
frame church building that served their pur- 
pose for about twenty years, at which time 
the present frame church building was put 
up. Jn east of Salem is the Union chapel, 
a United Brethren frame church building in 
section 10. Blue Creek township was or- 
ganized in JS38, and is a part of what was 
originally Wabash and Saint Mary's town- 
ship. Some of its other oldest residents 
were Denison Tinkam, Tunis Young, Mich- 
ael Eley, T. D. Braddock, Elijah Gilpen and 
George Campbell. This township is within 
less than a mile of the town of Willshire, 
which was laid out in 1823, and as there 
were mills, stores and markets there at 
an early dr.y, and on the plank road, it was 

considerably in advance of Decatur in sev- 
eral respects. 

The earliest school buildings in this town- 
ship were the "Burdge" school house in sec- 
tion 32 ; the "Bryan" school house in section 
21, which was also known as the election 
school house; the "Boyers" school house in 
section 5. These buildings were all made of 
logs and were built along in the forties. The 
first frame residence in this township was 
built by John Young in 1856. The only tile 
block school building in the county is in this 
township, and is known as the "Egypt" 
school house. This is situated in the north- 
east corner of the township and was built to 
take the place of a brick that was destroyed 
there by fire in 1905. The estimated popu- 
lation of Blue Creek township in 1907 is 
1,475. ^he school enumeration is 386, and 
the number of votes 295. 

The successive election inspectors and 
trustees have been: Peter Young, 1846; 
William Kimsey, 1S47; Griffin Johnson, 
1848; John Emory, 1849; Andrew Scoles, 
1850; Elijah Gilpen, 1851 ; Samuel Eley, 
1856; S. Hunter, 1857; Peter Young, 1858; 
Elijah Gilpen, 1859; D. H. Shepherd, i860; 
William Kimsey, 1861 ; D. H. Shepherd, 
1863; Samuel Eley, 1864; John Merryman, 
1S68; Samuel Headington, 1874; A. W. 
Holmes, 1876; Christ Kauffman, 1878; 
James Furgeson, 1882; Henry Myers, 1886; 
Jacob Wechter, 1890; Joshua Davey (but 
did not quality), 1S98; Davidson Mattax, 
1900: William Raudenbush, 1904. 


The organization of Monroe township with thaf of the towns of Berne and Mon- 
dates from 1S40. It is a congressional town- roe, which might be examined in this con- 
ship which lies in the soinh half of the nection. Some of its earliest residents were 
county, and much of its history is connected Thomas Runle, Riesen Todd, Samuel Sack- 



ftt. Henry Martz, George Ray, John 
Hurtjge, John McLean, Lewis Mattax and 
fohn McConnell. On account of the line of 
low, wet prairies extending from east to 
west along Big Blue creek this and French 
township were settled later than some other 
parts of the county, from want of roads and 
drainage. The first steam saw mill built in 
the county, south of Decatur, was located 
at the west end of the Thompson prairie, in 
1851, by John R. Burdge. This machinery 
was hauled by ox teams from Dayton, Ohio. 
The Martz school house and the Bolinger 
school house were the first erected in the 
township, though school was taught in an 
old log cabin by Judge William Stockham 
southeast of where Monroe is located before 
cither of these school houses were built. 
These were of logs and built in 1848 or 
1850. The first frame school house in the 
township was the Mattax school house, lo- 
cated in section 26, was built in 1855 and 
finished with black walnut lumber as door 
and window casings. The first brick school 
house in this township was in section 17 and 
known as the Flora school. The first town- 
ship teachers' institute ever held in the 
county was conducted by County Superin- 
tendent Daniel D. Heller on the 25th day 
of October, 1873, m the Center school dis- 
trict, which is located in section 15. That 
the present school teachers may have an idea 
of what the teachers of that time received 
•or their services we herewith give the scale 
<>f wages as adopted by the county board of 
education in 1869-70: 

1 male teachers with, a two-years' license, 
St. 90 a day. 

10 Female teacher, with a two-years' li- 
cense, JSi/io a day. 

To male teachers, with an eighteen- 
months' license, $1.65 a day. 

To female teachers, with an eighteen- 
months' license, $1.45 a day. 

To male teachers, with a twelve-months' 
license, $1.40 a day. 

To female teachers, with a twelve- 
months' license, $1.25 a day. 

To male teachers, with a six-months' li- 
cense, $1.20 a day. 

To female teachers, with a six-months' 
license, $1.10 a day. 

This township used the last log church 
building in the county. It was built at the 
east side of section 9 and was used as late 
as 1900 for church purposes. This church 
was of peculiar construction. It was built in 
the shape of a cross and had twelve corners. 
This went by the name of the "Twelve-Cor- 
nered church" and was built by the church- 
going people of several denominations, but 
perhaps had a majority of Methodists in its 
attendants. Some other church buildings in 
this township are the Baxto church, in sec- 
tion 25 ; the Quaker church and the Oak 
Grove church. Being in close proximity to 
the towns,-their churches are largely attend- 
ed by many of the country people. Lewis 
Mattax, an early resident of this township, 
was county ditch commissioner along in the 
sixties, and the Thompson Prairie Ditching 
Association was organized and the Blue 
Creek prairies among other wet lands were 
drained to the west line of the township. 
One of the first ditches located was the Cly- 
mer ditch. Much land in this region be- 
longed to poor people, who claimed that 
they were too poor to hire their ditches 
made and that they needed their labor to 



support themselves and families. Several 
suits were instituted against the owners of 
"speculator" lands before it became fully 
conceded that these ditches could be made at 
the expense of the land owners without their 

Along about 1870 the more progressive 
farmers and contractors strongly urged the 
construction of the large ditches throughout 
the county, and none have ever regretted 
them passing through Monroe township. 
What were once wet and worthless tracts 
are now the best corn farms. Monroe town- 
ship has more vineyards and raises more 
grapes, perhaps, than any other township in 
the county. It is said to have started the 
first hedge fences ever introduced in the 
county. It has one other distinction that 
perhaps may be of some note. It once had 
a "corn juice" factory that did business on 
a small scale. It made "moonshine" whisky 
and was doing a "good, quiet business," 
when Uncle Sam's revenue officers swooped 
down onto the proprietor, J. M. Kelse, and 
carted him and his distillery fixtures to the 
state capital for an investigation. His build- 

ings were so arranged that the front was 
used as a smoke house, with a rear depart- 
ment, in which his still was located. United 
States Marshal C. W. Starr made the arrest 
in April, 1873. 

The estimated population of Monroe 
township in 1907, including the towns of 
Monroe and Berne, is 3,195. The school 
enumeration, exclusive of Berne, is 827 ; of 
Berne is 356. The number of voters, includ- 
ing Monroe and Berne, is 639. 

The election inspectors and township trus- 
tees have been: Kalita Jacobs, 1846; Jona- 
than Ray, 1848; John McConnell, 1849: P. 
C. Bolinger, 1850; George W. Ray, 1851; 
E. J. Brown, 1853; P. C. Bolinger, 1S55; 
John McLean, 1856; M. Hendricks, 1S57; 
William Harris, 1859; J. L. Ciandall, 1S62; 
Joseph R. Miller, 1864; William B. Frissell, 
1865; William Hendricks, 1866; Joseph R. 
Miller, 1S67; Worthington StuUz, 186S; 
Thomas P. Harris, 1869; George H. Martz, 
1870; Robert E. Smith, 1S76; James Long. 
1880; Christ W. Kocker, 1884; Peter P. 
Ashbaucher, 1888; William F. Schug, 1892; 
John J. Soldner, 189S; Jacob Huser, 1904. 


When French township was organized in 
1839 the greater part of its population lived 
in the south half of the township. That part 
southwest of the river was first settled. 
Some of the earliest permanent residents of 
the township were: George French. Ros- 
well Horton, Samuel Fonts, John Augsper- 
ger, Abraham Ellenberger, Henry Soevine 
and Abraham blocker. At the northeast 
corner of this township was a neighborhood 

of French-speaking people. The northern 
section of this township was in the Blue 
Creek prairies, a very good kind of land, but 
almost worthless until it had been thorough- 
ly drained. This drainage was begun in 
earnest in the latter part of the seventies, and 
this part of the county is now the home of 
many prosperous farmers. In this town- 
ship perhaps more than in any other in the 
county the manufacture of cheese was quite 



an industry in former years. At the present 
lime French township has a large German 
population. However, there arc very few 
of the younger people who cannot speak the 
English language. The Fort Recovery road 
crosses the southwest corner of this town- 
ship and extends along down the Wabash 
river to Bluffton. There are no towns in 
this .township nor at the present time any 
postpffices. There was once a postofnce on 
the Fort Recovery road at the residence of 
a Mr. Sheldon, which was situated in or 
near a large grove of linn trees. The post- 
office took the name of Linn Grove, but 
after the town of Buena Vista was laid out 
the postofnce was taken to town. It is said 
that Mr. Alonzo Sheldon was one of the 
early postmasters at Linn Grove. The town 
of Vera Cruz is situated a short distance 
west of French township, on the Wabash 
river. This town was begun in 1848 and 
was one of the principal trading points for 
the first twenty years of French township's 
existence. This was also their nearest post- 
oiHce. This township has less church build- 
ings than any other township in the county, 
but two or three inexpensive frame struct- 
ures meet their wants in this direction. We 
are informed that the churches at Vera Ciuz, 
Buena Vista and Berne are largely attended 

by residents of this township. One of the 
earliest school buildings in this township 
was known as the Sheldon school house and 
it was located in the southwest part of the 
township on the Fort Recovery road and 
built perhaps as early as 1846 or 1848. 
Others were the Slaughter school house, in 
section 27; the Marchaud school house, in 
the northeast corner of the township, and 
the Cottonwood, at the east center, and the 
Baumgartner school, at the southeast corner 
of the township. These were all frame 
buildings except the first mentioned, which 
was made of round logs. 

The estimated population of French 
township in 1907 is 1,170. The school 
enumeration is 401, and the number of 
voters 234. The election inspectors and 
township trustees have been : John Stauf- 
fer, 1846; Roswell Haughton, 1847; Obe- 
diah Haughton, 1S52; Lot French, 1S53; 
Anthony Stockdell, 1858: Christian Bixler, 
i860: William Triplet, 1861 ; Christian Bix- 
ler, 1S62; Jacob Sarff, 1S63; Joshua Sarft, 
1864; Solomon Shell, 1867; George Simi- 
son, 1870; Edwaid Ehle, 1876; Christ 
Ashbacher, 18S0; Samuel Hocker, 1S84; 
Jonas Neuenschwander, 1888; J. P. Steiner, 
1 89 1 ; C. E. Stuckey, 1892;. Rudolph Schug, 
1900; John C. Augspurger, 1904. 


Hartford township was made from a part situated in section 11 on the south bank of 

of Wabash township in 1S41. This civil the Wabash river, on the Fort Recovery & 

corporation had not only some of the first Huntington road. The plat of this town 

residents, but it had one of the earliest town was recorded nearly seventy years ago on 

s 'tes in the comity. The town of James- the 16th day of August, 1S38, and the town 

lown, which consists of sixty-four lots, is lots weie sold at public auction. Robert 

1 82 


Simison, who is yet living, attended this 
sale and tells us that some of the best loca- 
tions sold for as much as twenty dollars 
apiece. This was considered as an enormous 
price when good land could be bought for 
from five dollars to six dollars an acre in 
some other parts of the township. Some of 
the purchasers proceeded to improve their 
lots and built cabin houses. All went well 
until the spring freshets of the Wabash 
river. Then the town was covered 
with water two or three feet deep and the 
residents of James Beauchamp's town moved 
out in canoes. The head of one of these 
families is said to ha\"C been a Mr. Runyon, 
who got out of bed to find 
the water a foot deep in his 
house with his dog perched upon a 
pile of wood near the fireplace. Further 
efforts to populate "Jim Town" were aban- 
doned. Some of the earliest residents of 
this township were: Robert Simison, who 
came first to the county in 1833; Daniel 
Miller, John Deffenbaugh, Josephus Mar- 
tin, Salem Clendening, Daniel Morrow, 
John Pontius and James Glendening. The 
mills and stores were an important item in 
the days of settlement. There was a water 
mill built at the present site of Buena Vista 
along about 1845 by James McDowel, who 
subsequently moved to Jay county. This 
was a saw mill, with buhrs for grinding 
grain. Ephraim Parker bought this mill and 
sold it to Emanuel Neaderhouser, who, in 
1S57, built the first grist mill in southern 
Adams county. This year the town of Buena 
Vista was laid out by Robert Sim-son on 
the west ban!: of the Wabash river, in sec- 
tion 3. This town is situated on the Fort 
Recovery & Huntington road, the original 
plat contained sixteen lots and nine outlots 

and the plat was recorded on ihc 25th day 
of March, 1857. An addition of twenty-six 
lots was made to this town on the nth day 
of December, 1S69. The lands of Robert 
Simison lie principally south of Buena Vista. 
His log cabin was one of the earliest resi- 
dence buildings, if not'the first, in the town- 
ship. The first residence built in Buena 
Vista stood at the street corner of Meridian 
and Taylor streets, where the Crabbs brick 
store building is located. It was built by 
David Beamer. Christian Sowers was the 
first storekeeper, and he was succeeded by 
the Crabbs store in a frame building on 
Taylor street and Fort Recover}' road. The 
Joseph and Perry Crabbs brick store build- 
ing was erected in 1865. The brick for this 
building were made on the Elihu Sheldon 
farm, north of town, by Robert Niblick. 
The first tavern stand in this town was 
built by Jacob Johntry at the crossing of 
the river road and the Fort Recovery road 
at the northeast of the village. Before the 
railroads were built through Adams and 
Wells counties Buena Vista was quite a 
trading point. The grist mill was a great 
benefit to the merchants of the town. In 
this village several boys, as the Allisons, the 
Morrows and the Huffmaiis, as storekeepers, 
became wealthy men. This town and Vera 
Cruz were commonly selected as the points 
at which joint political conventions were 
held to nominate candidates for prosecutors 
and representatives for Adams and Jay or 
Wells and Adams counties. 

At the present time this village has one 
tile block house, one brick residence, two 
brick store buildings and a large four-room 
brick graded school building, erected by 
Trustee Fred Hoffman in l8e>i ; two frame 
church houses; one boarding house, one res- 



taurant, one drug store, owned and operated 
1 v Peter Huffman for the last forty years; 
two general stores, one hardware and agri- 
cultural implement store, one blacksmith 
shop, one doctor, Dr. J. T. McKean ; one 
shoe store, one grist mill, one telephone sta- 
tion, and three saloons. In 1876 the two- 
room graded school building was built. This 
was the only two-room school building in 
thesouth end of the county at that time. The 
Odd Fellows' block, a two-story brick build- 
ing, was built in 1S93. The Evangelical As- 
sociation built the first church house in this 
village in 1869. Some of its earliest leaders 
were : Emanuel Neaderhouser, John Baum- 
gartner, Andrew Schlagenhauff and Fred- 
erick Wechter. The Baptist church organi- 
zation first had its church building north of 
town, but disposed of that property to the 
Christian church organization and in 1879 
built a frame church building in Buena Vis- 
ta. A.mong some of the aggressive members 
of this congregation were: Timothy Fouts, 
Peter Huffman, Wilson H. Shepherd, Mar- 
ti;: Kizer and George Simison. There were 
several church buildings in this township 
much earlier than these. The Green Wood 
Methodist church, erected in section 10, 
southwest of Buena Vista in 1S57, and the 
Hartford Methodist church, about the cen- 
ter of section 26, on the old angling road 
through the John Pontius farm, was built in 
1859. These were both frame churches and 
were in constant use for about thirty years. 
I he Union chapel is a Methodist church, 
situated in section 21, and is also a frame 
building. The first school house in Hart- 
ford township, was a log building that was 
lueaeed in section 15 and known as the Out- 
I eh school house, and was built in 1S46. 
^eartj all of the first school houses in this 

township were log. The Watson school 
house, in section 34, was built in 1S4S. The 
Scott school house and the Bolds were 
among the first built. The first frame school 
house in the township was erected by Trus- 
tee Daniel Miller and his two associate trus- 
tees in 1854. This was located north of 
Buena Vista, in section 3, and was known 
as the Miller school house. The first brick 
residence in this township was built in sec- 
tion 26 by ex-County Commissioner George 
Pontius in 1871. The oil field has covered 
the southern part of this township and brick 
houses have sprung up like magic. In 1893 
the "barker" attached to the pumping ma- 
chinery made melody to the ears of those 
who were drawing large oil royalties. The 
George W. Shoemaker well was drilled in 
about 1892. This was a good producer and 
the tide flowed in for about ten years and 
made some men wealthy in a short time. 

The estimated population of Hartford 
township in 1907 is 1,790: the school 
enumeration 448 ; and the number of voters 
is 358. Those who have been election in- 
spectors and township trustees are : John 
Pine, 1S46; John Brown, 1847 ; Peter Kizer, 
184.8: John Stauffer, 1849; Daniel Morrow, 
1850; James Clendening, 1851; John 
Brown, 1852; John Watson, 1853; Daniel 
Miller, 1854; Josephus Martin, 1855; Dan- 
iel Miller, 1S58; E. W. Reed, 1859; Daniel 
Miller, i860; E. W. Reed, 1861 ; Martin 
Kizer, 1865; John Chrisman, 1S66; Daniel 
Morrow, 1867; Peter Huffman, 1S6S; Lewis 
C. Miller, 1876: Eugene Morrow. 1878; 
Emanuel Neaderhouser, Jr.. 1S8-?; L. O. 
Bears, 1886; Frederick Hoffman, 1S88; 
William Hall, 1892; Samuel Opliger, 1898; 
Moses Augspurger, 1904. 




The original Wabash township contained 
a tract of land fourteen miles long and nine 
miles wide. In June, 1841, it assumed its 
present size, six miles square. As this town- 
ship contains the combined towns of Alex- 
ander, Buffalo and Geneva and a part of 
Berne,, their history may be read in connec- 
tion with that of Wabash township. The 
reader is also refened to "The Hand of 
Fate" in this volume. Some of the earliest 
permanent settlers of this township were : 
Peter Studabaker, in 1S34; William Vance, 
Henry Jttday, Morgan Smith, Samuel Lin- 
ton, John Walker, Tilmon Rawley, Covey 
Galloway, George F. Baker, Christopher 
Swank and P. N, Collins. The earliest 
towns in the township Were Alexander and 
Buffalo. The only other town not hereto- 
foi mentioned is the town of Ceylon, which 
was laid out by Dr. B. B. Snow, and the plat 
recorded on the 2gd day of July, 1873. This 
town lies just south of the Wabash river on 
the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad and 
the original addition contains eighty lots, 
which are fifty by one hundred and fifty feet 
in si;;e. This town has three east and west 
streets — High street. Valley and Main 
streets — with cross streets numbered from 
one to four. On the 10th day of December, 
1873, P. N. Collins laid out an addition of 
thirty lots on Main street. Ceylon is one of 
the timber towns that once was the scene of 
much business in the manufacturing line. 
The Royer spoke and wheel factory, the 
Adams & Raglia heading and suive factories, 
the saw mill and the grist mill operated by 
Dr. Snow, two good general stores, a drug 
store, cooper shops and some other indus- 

tries were in operation here in the seventies.' 
The Snow grist mill was the first steam grist 
mill in the county south oi Decatur; was 
built in 1S73. At the present time there is 
a general store, two blacksmith shops, a shoe 
shop, a frame church building and a good 
brick school building, erected in 1S94 by 
Township Trustee Elias Riesen. This was 
the first brick school building in the town- 
ship outside of the Geneva corporation. For 
a number of years this town maintained a 
two-room graded school, had a large trade 
in all kinds of lumber and timber, had a 
grain warehouse and handled grain ; had a 
depot building at the station and transacted 
a large amount of business, but its proprie- 
tors, who at one time jointly owned the 
lands on the south side of and adjoining the 
Line street in Geneva, parted with it at the 
wrong time and that town i? now largely 
built up with what might have been located 
further north and been a part of Ceylon. 
This town has some nice residence proper- 
ties, but has few industries to give it the life 
and vigor -of years ago. Outside of the 
towns mentioned are several frame church 
buildings. The Hosfftetter church, in sec- 
tion 17, was built along about 1873 by the 
German Reformed congregation and is the 
second oldest church in the township. In 
1840 the United Brethren congregation in 
the southern part of this township, with 
some of their Jay county neighbors, built a 
log church on the south county line, but on 
the Jay county side. This was a hewed log 
structure and was known as the Wabash 
chape'. Some of the members most inter- 
ested in the construction of tin's church build- 



ing were: Charles Nelson, Daniel McCol- 
lum, Jacob Bartmas, William Sibray and 
Jacob Butcher. This church was abandoned 
in 1S76 and the Ford, school house was used 
until 18S4 for church purposes. At that 
time the Sugar Grove church house, a neat 
frame building, was erected in section 36. 
This building was destroyed by fire in 1S96 
and in its stead the Apple Grove church 
building was erected about a half mile west 
of the Sugar Grove building. Among some 
of the members most interested in the con- 
struction of these church buildings were: 
Jesse McCollum, George Heimberger, 
Stephen Armstrong, Napoleon B. Ford, E. 
D. McCollum, Miriam Armstrong, Taze- 
well Fritz and J. E. Lawrence. 

The Elm Grove church, built by the Chris- 
tian, or "Campbellite,'' organization, as it is 
sometimes called, is located in the north 
part of section 25 and was built about 1880. 
In 1868 this congregation was organized, 
but used the Aspy school house for their 
services until their church building was 
completed. This organization was conducted 
by John H. Barr, Mark Aspy, William C. 
Aspy, John Hotsinpillar, Benjamin Aspy 
and James Barr at its beginning. The 
church has steadily increased in numbers and 
now has members in several of the adjoining 
townships. In the eastern part of the town- 
ship, in section 14, the Quakers have a 
church building and small congregation. In 
the line of education Wabash township has 
always held a front rank. It was in section 
20, near the center of the section, on the old 
Canoper road, that this township had its 
first school house. It is claimed that this 
was the very first school house built in the 
county, r.e that as it may, it was one of the 
first and was known as the McIIugh school 

house: was built along about 1836 or 1837. 
There were but two other log school houses 
built in this township, one, the Burdoin 
school house, in section 15, and the other 
near the center of section 2, known as the 
Rawley school house. This township got a 
plastered school house in 1856, the first per- 
haps in the county outside of Decatur. This 
was the Fords school house, in section 35. 
In 1S52 Wabash township .had its first steam 
saw mill, located at Alexander, and there 
were nine frame school houses built in this 
township between the yea's of 1852 and 
1863, the old log ones being discontinued as 
the new ones were built. These commonly 
took their names from the farmer near 
whose home the school building was located. 
Without attempting to locate them here, 
they were known as the Myers, Kauffman, 
Swank, Aspy, Baker, Pyle, Rawley, Ford 
and the Bradford schools, a description of 
each of them can be gotten by reading a his- 
tory of the Bradford school in connection 
with the history of Geneva. As stated, the 
Ford school was unlike the others. The 
first brick house erected in this township was 
built by Christian Burghalter on his farm in 
section 19 in 1S72. 

The estimated population of Wabash 
township in 1907 is 3,430, including Ge- 
neva. Its school enumeration, exclusive of 
Geneva, is 618; the Geneva enumeration is 
356; number of voters, including Geneva, 
6S6. The election inspectors and trustees of 
this township were : George F. Baker, 
1846; Jacob Baker, 1S4S; George F. Baker, 
1849; Covey Galloway, 1S51 ; Henry S. 
Juday, 1S52; Covey Galloway, 1S53; Ralph 
Wilds, 1S54; Jacob Baker, 1858; P. N. Col- 
lins, 1859; Mark Aspy, i860; I. G. Baker, 
1862; Henry Abnett, 1805; George W. 

1 86 


Bryan, 1S66; O. H. Hi!!, 1867; Henry Mil- M. Herr, 1886; Elias Riesen, tSoo; John 
!er, 1868; Lafayette Rape, 1878; David Brown, 1894: Philip A. Mackiin, 1900; 
Long, 18S2; Lafayette Rape, 1884: Martin Henry Decker, 1904. 


The residents of Jefferson township are in 
the farthest corner of the county from the 
count)' seat. This township had some very 
early residents and was organized as a town- 
ship in March, 1838. It has been said that 
the first resident of this township was Sam- 
uel Friese. who located his cabin in section 
15 on what is now the Hiller farm as early 
as 1S35. Some of the other early residents 
were : Ebenezer Webster, Wade Loof bor- 
ough, Lawrence Gallogly, Jacob Abnett, 
John Fetters, John Rumple, William Ab- 
nett, John Buckingham and Jacob Fetters. 
There arc no towns in this township. The 
nearest postofhce for most of the southern 
part of the township before the rural routes 
were in operation was New Corydon. Be- 
tween this town and the Adams county line, 
perhaps a half mile over in Jay county, Peter 
Studabaker built his first cabin in Indiana in 
1S19. The Wabash river came too near his 
residence when overflowed and he returned 
to Fort Recover}-, but came back down the 
river in 1834, settled near the Price bridge 
in Wabash township on an eminence above 
high water mark. Roads, mills and schools 
were of common interest to most of the first 
settlers. The Quaker trace ran through Jef- 
ferson township and was one of the early 
roads through the eastern part of the county. 
At New Corydon there was a water mill 
built perhaps a! ;g about 1S55, that was a 
great benefit to the settlers in that part of 

the country. In this township, as in most 
others, log school houses were built as soon 
as the neighborhoods had sufficient settlers 
to maintain a school and pay a teacher. The 
first school house in this township was the 
Kinney school house, in section 33, and 
which was built in 1848. The last log school 
house was built in the Buckmaster neighbor- 
hood in 1854. Other school houses built be- 
tween these dates were the Shaffer school 
house and the Porter school house. The 
first brick school house built in the township 
was erected in 1S87 in the Buekmaster dis- 
trict, or in section xcj, by Trustee Samuel 
Fetters. Some of his constituents thought 
him uselessly extravagant in building such 
an expensive school house. They may have 
lost sight of the idea that a good brick house 
will last the lifetime of several generations 
as built, while all the neighborhood around 
it will improve in a number of ways. Mr. 
Fetters showed his better judgment in build- 
ing a good house. Had he built what some 
then suggested the house, as compared to a 
modern structure, would have looked as the 
little girl said that she felt. She said : "Oh, 
I feel like thirty cents with the three rubbed 
out." This brick house has no resemblance 
to any such a "thirty cents" as that. The 
first frame school house in the township was 
the Kelly school house, which is in the 
southwest pari of the township. This was 
built about 1S74 by Trustee Justice Kelly. 



The first brick residence in this township was 
built by Augustus Kraner about 1876. Mr. 
Kraner is now right in the heart of the oil 
territory of this township and has a number 
of productive wells. Though at a disadvan- 
tage in some respects as regards roads and 
drainage for a long time, this township has 
a number of church buildings, among which 
•are the Maple Grove church (Christian, or 
Campbellite) organization, the Chapel and 
Mount Carmel, both Methodist church or- 
ganizations; the Progressive Dunkards, or 
Brethren in Christ, the Evangelical Associa- 
tion and the Catholic. The buildings of each 
of these congregations, with the exception 
of the Catholic, are frame structures. The 
Catholic church is built in what is some- 
times called the Irish settlement, though not 
near all of those living in this locality belong 
to that nationality. Among some of the 
early residents who were particularly inter- 
ested in the building of the first church 
building in this locality were : Michael Kin- 
ney, John Finety, Michael D. Kinney, 
Stephen McHale, Thomas Moran, James 
Laughlin, Peter Kinney, Martin Laughlin 

and Timothy McGufngan. The first church 
building was a frame that was built in 18S0. 
This was hardly completed when it was de- 
stroyed by fire. The present brick structure 
was built the next year and is a valuable 
piece of church property. 

The estimated population of Jefferson 
township in 1907 is 1,335. 1' ne school 
enumeration is 436. The number of voters 
is 267. The election inspectors and town- 
ship trustees of this township have been : 
Gilbert Wright, 1846; John Loof borough. 
1847; Elisha Chary, 1848; Ashbel Lewis. 
1849; Isaac Edwards, 1850; William Ab- 
nett, 1851 ; Jonathan Kelley, 1852; William' 
Jones, 1853; John Abnett, 1854; E. Ed- 
wards. 1855; John Abnett, 1856; Jonathan 
Kelly, 1858; John Abnett, 1859; Jonathan 
Kelly, 1861; Charles Kelly, 1868; Justice 
Kelly, 1870; James Buckmaster, 1873; Jus- 
tice Kelly, 1S74; John Hisey, 1876; Jona- 
than Kelly, 1878; John Hisey, 1880; Peter 
Kinney, 1882; Samuel Fetters, 1SS6: Martin 
Laughlin, 1890; W. V. Buckmaster, 1894; 
Abe Beabout, 1904. 


Before there, were many church buildings 
in the county the church-going people would 
arrange to take a week or two in the late 
summer or early fall to meet and have a re- 
vival meeting. These meetings were 
planned from year to year as a sort of spe- 
cial privilege not to be missed on account of 
their social as well as religious advantages. 
1 here were three or four locations that were 
specially desirable as camp-meeting grounds. 

One was in section 22, at the springs, along 
Seventeen-Mile, east of Monmouth; one was 
west of New Corydon, in section 36, and 
one east of Alexander, in section 28, in Wa- 
bash township; and another was west of 
Pleasant Mills, in section 20. in Saint 
Mary's township. It seems that the camp 
meetings held at the Monmouth grounds 
were a fixture in the program for years and 
were attended from far and near as regularly 

1 88 


as are the county fairs of later years. Per- 
haps the nearness to the three towns and the 
locations of the roads had much to do with 
the attendance at "The Springs." It is true 
that from Monmouth up along Seventeen- 
Mile creek in summer there are some very 
beautiful landscapes, perhaps as picturesque 
as can be found in the county. Could some 
of those granite boulders relate the history 
of those old camp meeting days and nights 
it would be a fine record indeed. Even the 
thought of those great baskets of fat pump- 
kin pies and fine fried spring chicken would 
make even a sinner's eyes sparkle and his 
mouth water for a taste, to say nothing of 
the other dainties on tap for camp-meeting 
week. We were unsuccessful in our effort 
to learn much of the older residents as to 
the names of the ministers or the leaders in 
these annual exercises. About the most ex- 
pression that wc could get was that there 
were very large crowds of people and that 
the preachers had "great big voices," and 
that the singing could be heard "way down 
by the river." The loud singing and the 
long sermons made more impression than 
the names of the preachers or singers. Since 
our personal "experience of camp-meeting 
life is somewhat limited we shall ask for- 
bearance while we quote from the iife of one 
who says he at times preached some of those 
long sermons that our pioneer friends so 
• well remember. From the "Life and Times 
of Rev. Alfred Erunson, A. M., D. D.," by 
your permission, we quote the following: 
"Wednesday seamed to be a general holi- 
day and we were fairly overrun with vis- 

1 itors. Many of them must spend one night 
on the grounds for their sight-seeing. To 

! attempt to close nnblk worship and retire 
to the tent for rest was a hopeless idea, for 

our visitors had no tents. Our only remedy 
therefore was to keep their attention toward 
the stand as long as possible, say till mid- 
night, or after, when we supposed that most 
likely they would leave for their homes. To 
accomplish this we had a long sermon from 
the longest-winded man on the ground, 
which was followed by some half dozen ex- 
hortations, interspersed with singing by the 
loudest son of thunder we had among us. 
It fell to my lot to give the last of these ex- 
hortations, in which I talked about an hour 
and told all the fearful and alarming anec- 
dotes I could call to mind, many of which 
were enough to raise the hair upon a sinner's 
head and make the blood chill in his veins. 
About 2 o'clock a. m. we closed and dis- 
missed the congregation, requesting the peo- 
ple to retire to their tents, if they had any, 
and if not to their homes. But after all who 
had tents had retired the grounds were still 
overrun with stragglers, to watch whom re- 
quired all the membership of the male sex 
present. To learn how things went outside 
of the camp, and especially in the public 
road, which was some twenty rods from the 
tents, I took a brother preacher with me and 
we mingled with the crowd in the dark un- 
noticed by them as they left the grounds. In 
passing to the road through the woods we 
heard their remarks, at some of which we 
could but smile, however much we mourned 
over their obdurate sinfulness. One gang 
of seemingly sailors were just behind us, 
discussing the merits of the preaching and 
exhortations. One of them said, using- a 
profane word, 'Those Methodist preachers 
arc the greatest liars I ever heard. They can 
tell more yarns than any old salt I ever saw. 
And that last one beats all the rest. If 1 
owed the devil twenty liars and he wouldn't 



take him for it, I would cheat him out of the going on and to have some amusement. The 

debt.' We, on the whole, succeeded in pre- meeting, however, was the means of doing ' 

serving pretty good order. The rowdy part considerable good. There were probably 

of the people present did not seem to be fifty conversions and a general quickening of 

vicious, but wished to see and learn what was the membership." 


Decatur Lodge, No. 571, of the Ancient 
Free and Accepted Masons dates from the 
9th day of June, 18S3. The first lodge in- 
stituted in Decatur dates from about i860, 
and was numbered 252. In this original 
lodge were Samuel Mickle, Augustus Greg- 
ory, George H. Martz, Washington Steele, 
Thomas T. Darwin, J. E. Tetple, Washing- 
ton Kern and some others whose names can 
not now be given. The first meeting place 
of this lodge was in a hall on the east side 
of Second street on inlot 50, built over 
George Number's furniture store. This 
same hall was later used by the Independent 
Order of Good Templars and the Knights 
of Pythias. Along about 1870 the hall in 
the brick building over the Dorwin drug 
store was brought into use and is still the 
meeting place of the Masonic orders of De- 
catur. However, the lodge has purchased a 
building lot on Second street, a part of inlot 
48, a fine location for the new Masonic 
building that is contemplated. The present 
Decatur Lodge, 571, was organized under a 
dispensation with the following named offi- 
cers: J. S. Coverdalc, W. M. ; J. D. Hale. 
S. \V.: B. W. Sholty, J. W\; Godfry Chris- 
ten, secretary; R. B. Allison, treasurer, and 
Levi Barkley, tyler; P. C. Clever, S. D., and 
Tames T Merryman, J. D. This lodge was 
chartered on the 27th day of May, 1884, 

and now has a membership of one hundred 
and twenty-eight. Its present officers are : 
Norman Lenhari, W. M. ; William Schrock, 
S. W.; William Winnes, J. W. ; Edward 
Miller, S. D.; Arthur Suttles, J. D. ; Earl 
B. Adams, secretary; Charles Bell, treasure]", 
and B. Kalver, tyjer. 

The Decatur Chapter, No. 112, Royal 
Arch Masons, was instituted on the 22d day 
of October, 1896, and now has about fifty 
active members: Dora Moore, K. ; J. D. 
Hale, S. ; Henry Heller, Pi in. S. gr. ; J. W. 
Tyndall, captain H. ; P. L. Andrews, captain 
R. A. ; Will Shrock, captain first V. ; Earl 
B. Adams, captain second V. ; Norman Len- 
hart, captain third V., and Godfrey Christen, 

The Decatur Chapter, No. 127, Order of 
the Eastern Star, was instituted on the 26th 
of April, 1S93. It now has a membership 
of about seventy-five. The present officers 
are: Lettie Annen, W. M. ; J. D. Hale, W. 
P. ; Flo Kinzle, A. M. ; Annie Winnes, sec- 
retary, and Monta Hensley, treasurer. 

Masonry is an institution of great an- 
tiquity. When and where it had its origin 
is a matter of controversy. However, this is 
one of the most social, moral and benevolent 
institutions ever formed. Whether found on 
the burning sands of the cast or in the 
frozen wilds of the north, the true Mason 



has the same fidelity to his craft. His chief 
mission is to relieve the distressed, bury the 
dead, comfort the afflicted and bring good 
cheer to those in gloom and sorrow. From 
the building of King Solomon's temple to 
the present time Masonry has progressed 
with varying degrees of rapidity. It how 
stands pre-eminent among the institutions 
established for the building up and improve- 
ment of mankind. The membership of this 
order has reached about the three million 
two hundred thousand mark. Of this num- 
ber there are about six hundred thousand in 
the United States. 

Geneva Lodge, No. 621, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, was instituted on the 6th 
day of August, 1898, with the following 
named charter members: Frederick Me- 
Whhmey, S. \V. Hale, James B. Brown, 
Charles Reicheldaffer, Charles D. Porter, 
John E. Lung, J. H. Hardison, W. E. Hale, 
W. C. Campbell, Adolph Leibert. John P. 
Scheer and Renaldo Sumption. This or- 
ganization prospered from the beginning and 
now has a resident membership of ninety- 
two, with quite a number of others who have 
removed from the town. The present offi- 
cers are: William C. Campbell. W. M.; 
George P.. Sawdy, S. D. ; Jesse Thorp, J. D. ; 
William P. Hale, secretary; S. W. Hale, 
treasurer; Ben Miller, tyler. Connected 
with this organization is the Geneva Chap- 
ter, No. 263, Order of the Eastern Star, with 
a membership of seventy-five. This order 
was organized in 1900 and the charter 
granted on the 25th of April, 1901. Its 
present officers are : Alice Heater, W. M. : 
W. B. Hale, W. P.. and Nellie Hale, A. M. 
The lodge rooms are in the Herr block. 
which is a large two-story brick building, 
with business rooms on the ground floor and 

halls above. This property now belongs to 
the Masonic order and is located on the 
north of Line street in about the center of 
the town and is a valuable piece of propertv. 

The Saint Mary's Lodge, No. 167, Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, was insti- 
tuted on the 1st day of September, 1S59. 
Its charter members were: William G. 
Spencer, Thomas J. Pierce, David Studa- 
baker, Daniel Miller, Timothy J. Matheny 
and John McConnchey. The past forcy- 
eight years has seen the coming and going 
of many faces. The advancement of this 
lodge has been steady and its results perma- 
nent. The meeting place for the first years 
of its life was in the upper room of one of 
the Houston buildings on inlot No. 56 on 
Second street. In 1875 the lodge removed 
to its new building at the corner of Monroe 
and Second streets. When this structure 
was built it was the largest and most expen- 
sive building of its kind in the city. It is 
twenty-six by one hundred and thirty-two 
feet in size and three stories in height. This 
lodge continued to grow in strength and its 
members can be found in all of the northern 
townships of the county. Its deceased 
brotherhood is scattered in many states. Its 
present active membership is about one hun- 
dred and thirty-five. The present officers of 
the subordinate lodge are: E. B. Lenhart, 
N. G. ; Ed S. Christen, V. G. ; Charles Helm. 
P. S. ; M. J. Butler, R. S. ; H. H. Harruff, 

The Olive Lodge of the Daughters of Re- 
bekah, No. 86, was chartered on the 24th 
day of June. 1S72, with eleven members. 
This branch of the order has had a steady 
growth and has about sixty-five members. 

The Decatur Encampment, No. 1,56, In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, was or- 



ganized under a dispensation October 17, 
j8; p t, with about a dozen members. This 
branch of the order was reoigarized on the 
171I1 day of October, 1893, and thereafter 
known as the Reiter Encampment, No. 214, 
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
Its first o r ficers were : W. G. Spencer, C. 
P.: B. H. Dent, J. W. ; J. P. Moon, S. W. ; 
J. Archbold, II. P. ; Henry Winnes, treas- 
urer, and A. J. Hill, scribe. 

The Geneva Lodge, No. 634. Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, was the next Odd 
Fellows' lodge instituted in the county. It 
dated from the 14th day of April, 1887. Its 
charter members were: C. H. Bell, F. M. 
Rynearson, Frank H. Hale, W. H. H. 
Briggs, H. D. Gillum and Fliram Kraner. 
To this number were added fifteen members 
by initiation on the day the lodge was insti- 
tuted. On that day there was a social meet- 
ing at the frame church on Line street in 
the morning, a banquet at noon and the ini- 
tiations continued throughout the afternoon 
and evening at the lodge hall in one of the 
Pyle buildings on the north side of Line 
street. The order occupied this hall until 
in April, 1890, when the Cartwright Hall 
building was bought and put in shape for a 
lodge room. In 1906 this was removed and 
a modern and substantial brick business 
block, with lodge rooms above, was built at 
the cost of about ten thousand dollars. The 
Geneva lodge has been in existence over 
twenty years and in that time has admitted 
by card and initiation two hundred and 
forty-five members, many of w horn have re- 
moved and located elsewhere. At the pres- 
ent time this lodge has one hundred and 
forty active members. Its present officers 
;, re: J hn Kraner, N. G. ; John W. Harris, 

V. G. ; C. O. Rayn, P. S. : J. M. Pease, R. 
S. ; G. B. Swady, treasurer. 

The Silvia Rebekah Lodge, No. 327, In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, was insti- 
tuted on the 26th day of March, 1890, with 
nine charter members. This is one of the 
active branches of this order at Geneva and 
at this time has a hundred and twenty-one 
members. Its officers are : Pearl Rayn, N. 
G. ; Florence Ford, V. G. ; Fanny Miller, F. 
S. ; Ruth Cross, R. S. ; Lydia Wegmiller, 

The Geneva Encampment, No. 203, Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, was insti- 
tuted on the 15th day of July, 1892, with 
seven charter members. Within the last fif- 
teen years it has increased to more than ten 
times its original number. This lodge now 
has a membership of seventy-two members 
and the following officers: \V. J. Nelson, 
H. P. ; J. W. Burris, S. W. ; F. F. Gregg, 
scribe: Frank R. Haughton, J. \V. ; W. N. 
Stall, treasurer. 

The Linn Grove Lodge, No. 683, Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, was in- 
stalled on the 14th day of January, 1S92, 
with C. B. Funk, John W. Bears, J. W. 
Keckler, W. D. Williams, Edward Heller, 
Fred Neaderhouser and John S. Anderson 
as its charter members and twenty-six can- 
didates were initiated on the day of its insti- 
tution. In 1 89 1 the old graded school build- 
ing was sold and the lower room was used 
as a paint shop and trimming 
room by a carriage-maker and the 
upper room was fitted up for a 
lodge room and used by the Odd Fellows' 
lodge until the fall of 1904, at which time a 
new brick block forty-four by seventy feet 
in size was erected, with a commodious hall 



on the second floor. This was dedicated on 
the 21st of December, 1904, with appropri- 
ate ceremonies. The Linn Grove Lodge has 
a Rebekah Degree Lodge that was organ- 
ized on the 27th of January, 1905. The Linn 
Grove Lodge was in a measure interested 
in the institution of Petroleum Lodge, No. 
721, and Berne Lodge, No. 838, Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, as several with- 
drawal cards were taken out for this pur- 
pose. This lodge at this time has seventy- 
five active members, with the following 
named officers: John Romey, N. G. ; Sher- 
man Higgins, V. G. ; Leander Dunbar, P. 
S. ; Peter Hoffman, R. S. ; Samuel Opliger, 

The Berne Lodge, No. 838, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted on the 
26th day of January, 1906, with five char- 
ter members, who were : C.'B. Funk, D. A. 
Passon, A. C. Augsperger, Lewis Reynolds 
and Eugene D. Runyon. This lodge now 
has between sixty and seventy members. 

Berne has two secret orders, the Knights 
of Pythias and the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. From the time of their or- 
ganization these orders have met with 
steady and determined opposition — often by 
those who do not understand them, and 
more frequently from those who oppose all 
secret orders from a conscientious stand- 
point. In the face of all of this resistance 
there has been a steady and continuous 
growth of each of these orders. The present 
officers of Berne Lodge are D. A. 
Passon, N. G. ; John Marshall, V. G. ; 
C. E. Brenner, P. S. ; J. L. Love, R. S. ; 
Lewis Reynolds, treasurer. At the present 
time there are four Odd Fellows' lodges in 
Adams county, and, about four hundred 
active members. In one of the recent reports 

made on Odd Fellowship it was stated that 
Odd Fellowship in the United States began 
on the 26th day of April, 1819, in Boston, 
Massachusetts; that on the 26th day of 
April, 1907, the order in this country was 
eighty-eight years old ; that at that time there 
were one million two hundred and seventy- 
eight thousand and sixty-five Odd Fellows 
in the United States in active membership; 
that in Indiana at the last date named there 
were in the Encampment 6.790 members, 
and in the Rebekah Order there were 43,451 
members ; that in the original order in Indi- 
ana there were 72,578 active members on the 
26th day of April, 1907. The time is here 
that very good people may honestly differ 
and live in peace in the same town. And it 
is also true that in nearly every town of any 
size the secret orders are represented by 
their lodges. That this is a fraternal order 
whose usefulness has ceased to be questioned 
by all who are familiar with its teachings 
has long since been established. 

The Kekionga Lodge, No. 65, Knights of 
Pythias was instituted in the I. 
O. G. T. hall, on the east side 
of Second street, opposite the court 
house, on the 20th day of August, 1875, with 
eleven charter members, who were: C. T. 
Dorwin, Godlry Christen, W. S. Congle- 
ton, N. Blackburn, A. R. Bell, M. Burns, J. 
P. Ouinn, Fred Shaffer, W. W. Vanness, 
Frank Railing and D. L. Phelps. That at 
the same time there were twenty-six mem- 
bers taken into the lodge by initiation. This 
order did not long remain in the Good Tem- 
plars' hall, as the building at the corner of 
Second and Monroe streets was then under 
construction, and an agreement was made by 
which the Knights of Pythias order built an 
additional story on the Henry Derks build- 



mi r next to the Odd Fellows' block. This 
lias been their meeting place since the fall of 
1S75. This lodge has rapidly grown and 
now has a membership of one hundred and 
tiny-eight in the subordinate, sixty-five in 
the Pythian Sisters and thirty-five in the 
Uniform Rank. Its present officers are 
Walter Johnson, C. C. ; Fred Houer, V. C. 
Samuel Schamp, prelate ; C. M. Rice, M. A. 
C. O. Sipe, M. W.; Wilson Lee, M. E. 
Fred Mills, M. F. ; J. C. Trich, K. of R. and 
S. ; Curt Brown, I. G. ; W. Ward, O. G. ; Of 
Eureka Temple, No. 39, Rathbone Sisters, 
organized March 6, 1891 : Mrs. Fred 
Vaughn, M. E. C. ; Mrs. E. M. Hower, V. 
M. E. C. ; Mrs. Lee Vance, J. C. In the rank 
of uniform knights : DeFrench Quinn, cap- 
tain; E. B. Lenhart, first lieutenant: Wil- 
liam Herst, second lieutenant, and Huber M. 
DeVoss, clerk. 

The Geneva Lodge, No. 514, Knights of 
Pythias, was insti tuted on the 1 1 th day of 
April, 1904, with forty-eight members. This 
lodge has been of steady growth and now 
has the Uniform Rank and the Pythian Sis- 
ters lodges in connection with the subordi- 
nate. Jts first officers were: W. D. Hen- 
dricks, P. C. ; F. J. McWhinney, C. C. ; O. 

C. Fink, V. C. ; J. C. Alowrer, prelate; A. 

D. Mowrer, K. of R. andS.; W. W. Briggs, 
M. E. ; Thomas Drew, M. F. ; H. W. Mc- 
Ginnett, M. A. ; C. G. Barr, O. G. ; C. Shaf- 
fer, I. G. ; trustees, G. W. Schafer, A. M. 
Redding and S. W. Hale. The membership 
of this order at this time, is one hundred and 
fifteen, an increase of nearly seventy mem- 
bers since its institution. At present it leases 
: < hail building, but has an increasing fund 
set aside, which in a short time will enable 
U to own 'ts lodge room. Its present officers 
are: L. L. Mattax, C. C. ; Solomon Moser, 


V. C. ; J. K. Adams, prelate; W. W. Briggs, 
M. of E. ; O. O. Juday, K. of R. and S. ; 
Thomas Drew, M. of F. ; H. F. Kendall, M. 
of A. ; G. W. Schafer, I. G. ; A. Fens- 
ler, O. G. 

The Berne Lodge, Knights of Pythias, 
No. 398, was instituted on the 5th day of 
December, 1893, with twenty-three charter 
members, and three admitted by card. This 
was the first secret order that tried to get a 
footing at Berne. There seemed to be an 
entirely mistaken idea as to its purpose when 
it was first instituted. Those who did not 
understand its workings seemed to believe 
that its main purpose was to get unlawful 
people out of trouble. That idea has long 
since been discarded by even those who are 
opposed on general principles to secret or- 
ders. Its membership has now reached one 
hundred and three members and the lodge 
is growing in usefulness Its present officers 
are: D. N. Eckrote, C. C. ; Joel Lidy, V. 
C; E. B. Rice, prelate; H. S. Michaud, M. 
W. ; F. C. Foreman, K. of R. and S. ; C. H. 
Schenck, M. of F. : Lewis Gerig, M. of A. ; 
Ransom Smith. M. of E. ; J. W. Marbaugh, 
I. G. ; Dennis Striker, O. G. The trustees 
of this lodge are: Rudolph Schug, W. E. 
Evrets and A. J. Porter 

Decatur Court, Tribe of Ben-Hur, No. 
156, was organized on the 3d day of April, 
1900, with forty members. This is a frater- 
nal and life insurance order that has grown 
perhaps more rapidly in Decatur than any 
other of its secret societies. Its membership 
now has reached the number of two hundred 
and forty-five. Its meeting place at the 
present is in the Studabaker building on 
Court and Second streets. Its officers are: 
L. L. Baumgarlner, chief; Morris Hays, 
past chief; Louisa Peoples, keeper of tribe; 

J 94 


Adam Wise, teacher; Lydia Schamp, judge; 
Mary V. Daily, scribe. 

The Pocotaligo Lodge, No. 203, of Red 
Men, was instituted at Decatur on the 24th 
day of April, 1S95, with thirty members. 
As yet this order has leased its lodge hall. 
The interest and increase of membership has 
continued from the beginning and at the 
present time this lodge has a membership of 
one hundred and twenty-four, an increase of 
ninety above its number at the beginning. 
Its present officers are: R. Lord, sachem; 
W. Darwechter, prophet : O. N. Jlildebrand, 
S. S. ; Richard Roop, j. S. ; A. P. Beatty, K. 
of R. ; J. D. Hale, K. of W. 

The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, 
Lodge, No. 993, was instituted 
September 6, 1905, with fifty-eight 
members. This lodge is at present 
using the Studabaker & Allison 
building hall for its meetings. Since its be- 
ginning it has added quite a number of mem- 
bers and now has a membership of ninety- 
eight. A banquet followed the installation of 
this lodge, at which there was a large repre- 
sentation of Elks from adjoining lodges. Its 
present officers are : David E. Smith, ex- 
alted ruler; W. A. Lower, E. L. R. ; William 
Bosse, E. L. K. : C. E. Neptune, E. L. K. ; 
D. E. Studabaker, sentry; C. S. Niblick. 
treasurer; J. D. Reiter, tyler. 

The Evans Aerie, Fraternal Order of 
Eagles, No. 1570, was instituted on the 21st 
day of February. 1907, with a membership 
of eighty-two. In several ways this was a 
notable event in the lodge work of the 
county. In the afternoon there was a street 
parade, headed by the city band, which 
inarched to the hall where the lodge was in- 
stituted. An uhustial and memorable feature 
of this parade was that a live bald eagle was 

hauled at the head of the procession in a 
cage on a cart drawn by a goat. The meet- 
ing place of this lodge is in the Niblick 
building hall on Second and Monroe streets. 
Its present membership is one hundred and 
seven and its officers are: D. D. Coffee, 
worthy president ; Charles E. Patten, vice 
president; E. E. Snow, secretary; N. C. An- 
derson, treasurer. 

The Decatur Camp of Modern Woodmen 
of America, No. 9770, was instituted on the 
30th of March, 1907. by James Corsant, 
district deputy, with twenty-five charter 
members. Within the last few months this 
organization has grown from its twenty-five 
members at institution to a membership of 
forty-five. This is a fraternal order as well 
as a life insurance institution. It is said to 
have the largest membership of any order of 
its kind in existence. Its present officers are : 
E. B. Lenhart, consul : C. L. Walters, clerk; 
S. E. Schamp, adviser; Eli Myers, banker; 
George Everett, escort. 

The Adams Camp of Modern Woodmen, 
No. 10952, was organized at Benie 011 the 
22d of October, 1902. This organization 
started with nineteen charter members, has 
had some unusual reverses, but is now re- 
covering from its losses and is increasing in 
membership. Its present officers are : Rafe 
Imboden, consul ; Fred Wechter, banker ; 
W. S. Ray, adviser; T. W. Heare, clerk; W. 
B. Tucker, escort. 

The Monroe Camp of Modern Woodmen 
of America, No. 6S40, was instituted on the 
2 1 st of November, 1903, with a membership 
of nineteen. Within the last four years it 
has steadily grown and at this time its num- 
bers have reached a membership of forty-six. 
One 01 the main purposes of this organiza- 
tion is to provide social and financial protec 



I ii •!! for its members. The present officers 
of this order are: William Eadders, con- 
Mi! : E. W. Johnson, adviser; J. D. Kemper, 
banker; J. A. Hendricks, escort; E. W. 
Musette 1 , clerk. 

The Geneva Tent of the Knights of the 
Maccabees of the World, No. 106, was in- 
stituted on the 4th of April, 1895, with 
twenty-four members. It has grown in 
numbers to forty members. This is a frater- 
nal and social order that looks after the life 
insurance of its members as well as their 
present social welfare. Its present officers 
arc: L: C. Messner, past commander; G. 
\Y. Weeks, commander; R. E. Redout, rec- 
ord keeper, and Adam McKisic, sentinel. 

The Sam Henry Post, Grand Army of the 
Republic, Ne. 33, was mustered on the 12th 
of May, 1882, with thirty members and the 
following officers: Henry Hart, command- 
er; David Laman, senior vice commander; 
I>. VY. Sholty, junior vice commander; J. P. 
Quinn, officer of the day: John S. McLeod, 
officer of the guard ; L. A. Counter, quarter- 
master; Washington Kern, chaplain; R. B. 
Freeman, surgeon; A. C. Gregory, adju- 
tant. Tins order has had a membership of 
about one hundred and fifty, but the ravages 
of time have steadily diminished its numbers. 
I here are now sixty-nine members. The 
long hard winters have thinned the attend- 
ance at muster and an answer at the last 
roll-call will soon be heard no more by the 
volunteer soldier of a half century ago. As 
an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Re- 
public is the Woman's Relief Corps, No. 41, 
which was mustered on the 5th day of Octo- 
ber, 18S6, with twenty-eight members. This 
division now has forty-seven members. 
1 here wai - Safes of Veterans order organ- 
ized about 1886, but surrendered its char- 

ter and reorganized in 1895 with a small 
membership. The ex-soldiers in connection 
with the Sam Henry Post have from time to 
time revived the scenes of war in a small 
degree by engaging in sham battles. The 
first of these was in August, 1890, just east 
of Decatur in the Zimmerman fields. The 
commanders were David Laman, with part 
of the old soldiers and Lieutenant P. L. An- 
drews with the state militia on one side and 
Norval Blackburn with the old soldier forces 
on the other side. In this engagement a real 
interesting skirmish took place, perhaps the 
nearest war the militia had ever seen. The 
other sham battle was conducted on the 
Dyonis Schmitt grounds to the southeast of 
the city after a two clays' encampment and 
reunion of certain regiments outside of the 
Decatur Grand Army of the Republic order. 
This occurred in the fall of 1892. In this 
engagement a battery was in attendance 
from Fort Wayne, a branch of the militia 
company that assisted in the fight. The 
militia was also engaged in this battle and 
was under the command of Major M. L. 
Byers. In each of these engagements mus- 
kets and blank cartridges were used and 
from the snapping and cracking it would 
seem that the war was actually in earnest. 

The Geneva John P. Porter Post, No. 83, 
Grand Army of the Republic, was mustered 
on the 34th day of July, 1882, with fifteen 
members. Its first officers were: John M. 
Holloway, commander; W. H. Fought, 
senior vice commander ; Lafayette Rape, 
junior vice commander; J. C. Hale adju- 
tant : S. G. Ralston, surgeon ; W. R. Meeks, 
chaplain; G. W. H. Riley, officer of the day: 
William Drew, officer of the guard; A. J. 
Juday, quartermaster; J. P. Scheer, quarter- 
master sergeant ; J. D. Hale, sergeant major. 



From the fifteen members at first this post 
numbered one hundred and twenty-four 
members, though it is at this time much re- 
duced by deaths and removals from its vi- 
cinity. On the 8th of May, 1SS4, the Mc- 
pherson Camp, No. 11, Sons of Veterans, 
was mustered with sixteen members. This 
post is still in operation and is said to be 
about the only active post of the kind in the 
state, most others having surrendered their 
charters. The John P. Porter Relief Corps, 
No. 119, was mustered on the 20th of Janu- 
ary, 1S98, with a large membership. 

This Grand Army post has taken part in 
sham battles as well as the real article itself. 
The first of these was a representation of the 
battle of Shiloh. In this sham battle J. M. 
Holloway was one commander and John 
Sullivan the other. There was a very large 
crowd of people in attendance to witness this 
mimic game of war, which occurred on the 
27th day of September, 1886. The next 
battle of this nature was fought in the 
meadow just west of the present town of 
Geneva. In this John M. Plolloway and 
Martin M. Herr were the commanders. The 
batteries were back in the field and fired to 
distraction with their "Quaker" guns, served 
with sticks of dynamite. The noise was 
there, but that was all. In this there was a 
real bayonet fight between John McCollum 
and J. C. Ball. The combatants had to be 
separated, as Ball was fighting in defense of 
his person and his antagonist had become 
excited and forgot that half this world is 
sham and that the other half is not what it 
seems. This engagement took place on the 
12th of September, 18SS. The last military 
maneuver of this kind was on the 3d of 
August tRcj2, and was a representation of 
Custer's massacre. In this engagement J. M. 

Holloway figured as Custer and William 

Bears as Rain-in-the-Face, or Sitting Bull ' 

we are not informed as to which. But to 
say the least of it, his forces, adorned in ; : !i 
the turkey feathers the country could pro- 
duce and war paint galore, came in on the 
whoop and soon cleared the field of their 
pale-faced enemies. This was a bloodless 
battle, but the long scalplock of the brave 
Custer was lifted and swung from the girdle 
of his savage antagonist. However, "Gen 
eral" Holloway escaped with a much-priVed 
trophy, his own scalp, which he has to this 
day succeeded in keeping near him. 

Company B, Fourth Regiment, Indiana 
National Guard, was organized at Dccatir. 
on the 7th day of June, 1889. However, this 
was not the first military company organiz?ii 
in this county. The first company, so far as 
can be ascertained, was about 1845 or 1 S46. 
Then the company met twice a month as 
muster days and were drilled by a detailed 
officer from the governor's staff or from the 
United States service. From the best 
sources that are available Samuel S. Mickle, 
William Trout and James Niblick were offi- 
cers in this company. And that it partici- 
pated in the Fourth of July exercises or 
1846, Decatur's tenth birthday. In 1862 
there were several companies organi.-ed, 
some of which went to the front and were 
mustered into the United States service and 
some others that remained at home and were 
known as "home guards." On the 4th day 
of February, 1892, Company B of the 
Fourth Regiment was mustered as a part o! 
the Indiana state militia. This exercise w.v 
conducted in the Meiber's Hall in Decatur 
by Colonel George W. Guilder, of Marion. 
Indiana, as mustering officer. After the r »!'■ 
call of the company and the commissions • 



officers elected and the non-commissioned 
officers chosen a muster banquet was given 
bv the company. Major M. Eyers was toast- 
master. Some of the speakers were C. T. 
lionvtn, 011 the subject, "The Courage and 
Bearing of the Third Regiment, Indiana 
Slate Militia" ; J. D. Hale, "Quartermaster's 
Supplies — How the Militia Should Be Fed" ; 
Nerval Blackburn, "The City of Decatur's 
Interest in Company B." At the time of 
mustering this company its officers were: 
john H Steele, captain: DeFrench Ouinn, 
first lieutenant; C. M. King, second lieuten- 
ant; John Myers, orderly sergeant; A. C. 
Ball, H. M. Besser, J. D. Andrews and D. 
E. Studabaker, sergeants; Ben Broysher, Ir- 
vin Pyle, W. E. Russell, M. F. Burkhead, 
1.. C. Corbin and Peter Lorent, corporals. 

This company at the time of mustering 
bad thirty-four members. It changed offi- 
cers from time to time, but a list of its elec- 
tiuns and appointments can not be given. At 
the beginning of the Spanish-American war, 
in April, 1S98, the following members of the 
company were its officers. John M. Lenhart, 
captain; Solomon C. Edington, first lieuten- 
ant; Charles E, Barnhart, second lieutenant; 
Richard D. Myers, first sergeant; John D. 

Andrews, quartermaster sergeant; Jesse B. 
Uoop, John W; Watkins, Louis Andrews 
and William Bushnell, sergeants; Harry 
Keichert, Charles Beery, Frank Peterson, 
Harland Steele, Fred Vaughn and John C. 
Ault. corporals. From the history of Com- 
pany B, One-hundred-and-sixtieth Indiana 

* <-'luntcer Infantry, as written by George 
'• wers. a Kirkland township boy, arid also 

■ne of this company, we give the following 
account : 

Company B first came into existence at 
Decatur on June y, 1S89, as Company B of 

the Third Regiment, Indiana Legion. It was 
mustered in by Colonel McBride and with 
Jonas Coverdale, M. D., as captain. In 1891 
the company was called out to guard the jail 
against a mob. At that time M. L. Buyers 
was captain, and in 1S94 served twelve days 
at Hammond during the riots under Captain 
John Myers. The organization was trans- 
ferred to the Indiana National Guard and at 
the time of the declaration of the late war 
Major E. P. Miller was captain. Sergeant 
J. D. Andrews is the only charter member 
of the original organization of Company B, 
One-hundred-and-sixtieth Indiana. The 
company was recruited on the 27th of June 
by mustering in twenty-five additional men. 
The only change in officering of the company 
was the resignation of First Lieutenant 
Charles Edington. The vacancy was filled 
by appointing Charles Barnhart to fill the 
vacancy and promoting First Sergeant 
R. D. Myers to second lieutenant." 

The One-hundred-and-sixtieth Regiment 
was made up of the companies from Marion, 
Decatur, Lafayette, Wabash, Bluff ton, Os- 
sian, Columbia City, Warsaw, Tipton, Hunt- 
ington, Anderson and Logansport. In an- 
swer to the call it arrived at Camp Mount on 
the 26th day of April, 189S, for the purpose 
of being mustered into the service of the 
United States. After a rigid examination 
this regiment was mustered in on the 12th 
of May, 189S, and left Camp Mount on the 
16th by rail to Camp Thomas at Chicka- 
mauga Park, Georgia, arriving there on the 
18th of May. Iv left Camp Thomas on the 
28th of July under orders to proceed to 
Porto Rico. It arrived at Newport News 
on the 30th, but the order having been coun- 
termanded, left Newport News on August 
21st and proceeded to Camp Hamilton, at 



Lexington, Kentucky. It left Camp Hamil- 
ton November 9th and arrived at Columbus, 
Georgia, on the nth. On the 15th of Janu- 
ary, 1899, the regiment was ordered to pro- 
ceed in three sections to Matanzas, Cuba, 
where they were united on the 27th of Janu- 
ary and went into camp. The regiment re- 
mained in Cuba until March 27th, when it 
was' ordered to proceed to Savannah, Geor- 
gia, to prepare for disbanding. It arrived in 
Savannah on the 29th of March and was 
mustered out and discharged on the 25th of 
April, 1899. Some of the volunteers left 

singly and returned ahead of the mam body 
of the troops, but the larger part of this 
company returned to Decatur on the 5th <.f 
May and were met at the morning train fri im 
the south with a prearranged program thai 
the mayor of the city, who then was A. P. 
Beatty, should give them a soul-stirring wel- 
come speech at the court house. As soon as 
the train came in they scattered in every di- 
rection and enjoyed the welcome of their 
relatives and friends. Perhaps that speech 
will save until it is needed, as no one knows 
of it ever being; delivered. 


It is not our purpose to include such clubs 
or societies as are wholly a part of some 
church organizations. Those are auxiliaries 
to the various churches and are left to the 
writer of church history, every church hav- 
ing its own special societies to look after the 
work to which it is devoted. In the seventies 
there was a great agitation of the temper- 
ance question throughout the country by 
what was then known as the Independent 
Order of Good Templars. There were sev- 
eral lodges in this county — one in Mon- 
mouth and another in Decatur. The Deca- 
tur lodge is said to have had about eighty 
members, but politics took possession of the 
order and it went to pieces. 

The Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union followed immediately in the wake of 
the Good Templars and in iSSl, on the 6lh 
of November, this union was introduced into 
Adams county by S. G. Hastings, an ex- 
city superintendent of the Decatur schools. 

The purpose of this union was to oppose 
and prohibit as far as possible the unlawful 

sale of intoxicating liquors. This society 
continued for a time, but was reorganized in 
1888, and then grew to its largest member- 
ship, which was seventy-five members. Some 
of its active advocates were : Mrs. Marie L. 
Holloway, Mrs. W. J. Myers, Mrs. R. S. 
Peterson and Mrs. L. C. Miller. However 
good its cause may be, its workers have 
greatly diminished in Decatur. 

The Decatur Commercial Club was or- 
ganized on the 1st day of May, 1903, with 
about seventy-five members of the represent- 
ative business men of the city. Its primary 
objects are to secure such manufacturing in- 
terests to locate in the city as will increase 
the amount of labor for the working people 
and make a larger payroll to be laid out in 
the stores of the town. And also to furnish 
a pleasant room nicely situated and well fur- 
nished that any one may while away a few 
hours in day or evening with his acquaint- 
ances and friends without intrusion or inter- 
ruption of others at their places of business. 
This club is managed by a board of directors, 



who choose the executive officers. Its first 
officers were: DeFrench Ouinn, president; 
William Schrock, secretary, and Lew G. El- 
lingham, treasurer. The efforts of this club 
have in a measure been successful. The lo- 
cation of the power house north of Decatur 
by the traction company was largely due to 
its efforts. The whip stock factory, the fur- 
nace factory and the motor car factory were 
induced to locate in Decatur at the instance 
of the Commercial Club. In March, 1907, 
it put several additions of city lots upon the 
market at public sale and thereby began a 
"factory fund" that may prove of some ad- 
ditional benefit to the city. The sale of 
these lots in the aggregate amounted to 
about forty thousand dollars. The rooms 
of this club are at the corner of Front and 
Monroe streets in the Dr. William Trout 
brick homestead. The present officers of 
the club are: L. G. Ellingham, president; 
Earl B. Adams, secretary, and Charles S. 
Xiblick, treasurer. 

The Shakespeare Club, a literary organi- 
zation, is perhaps the oldest club of its kind 
m the county. It was organized in 1882, 
with the following charter members : Har- 
riet Studabaker, Margaret Dorwin, Jennie 
Clever, Hattie Studabaker, Dick Morrison, 
Dehie Mickle, Jennie Phelps, Malete Num- 
bers, Carrie Smith and Mary Niblick. Mrs. 
David Studabaker was probably the most 
active in its organization. It has its work 
regularly outlined for each year, and its 
president changes with each meeting, a 
novel plan, by which the hostess at whose 
house the meeting is held acts for that time 
as president. It frequently closes its year's 
work with an extensive banquet, at which 
the woi' is scanned and the delicacies of 

season served to not only the members, but 
to other friends. 

This society does not confine its readings 
and investigations to the works of Shakes- 
peare, but changes from year to year, local 
literature one and perhaps travels through 
the old world the next, and so on, thus giv- 
ing a great scope for investigation and study. 
Its present members are : Miss Hattie Stu- 
dabaker, Mrs. E. S. Morrison, Mrs. John 
Niblick, Mrs. Clint Patterson, Mrs. Daniel 
Sprang, Mrs. David E. Studabaker, Mrs. 
D. G. M. Trout, Mrs. J. W. Tyndall. Mrs. 
M. L. Holloway, Mrs. P. G. Hooper, Mrs. 
D. M. Hensley, Mrs. D. D. Heller, Mrs. 
L. G. Ellingham, Mrs. C. A. Dugan, Mrs. 
Jane Crabbs, Mrs. Samantha Dorwin, Mrs. 
R. K. Allison, Mrs. Helen Blossom and 
Mrs. Harry Moltz. 

The Historical Reading Club is an organ- 
ization of women for the systematic study 
of such certain literary productions as may 
be from time to time chosen for its consid- 
eration. This club was organized in April, 
1889, has regularly chosen officers and stated 
meetings for the exchange of ideas and pur- 
suit of the most knowledge that can be gotten 
from the subjects under consideration. This 
club was organized with the following char- 
ter members: Mrs. Helen Blossom, Mrs. 
R. B. Allison, Mrs. Carrie Burns, Mrs. E. 
A. Allen, Mrs. Mary Congleton, Mrs. Sa- 
mantha Dorwin, Mrs. Kannie Fristoe, Mrs. 
R. Harb, Mrs. Victoria Hill, Mrs. L. Pat- 
terson, Mrs. Lucy Rout and Mrs. Elizabeth 
Waldron. It has proved to be 
of much real benefit to not only its 
members, but to others from a historical 
point of view, as it has from time to time 
taken up state and local historical subjects 



and made its researches known to the public 
through the columns of the daily papers. 
This club is limited in its numbers and by its 
constitution can admit no new member until 
a vacancy occurs in its ranks. Its present 
membership consists of the following: Miss 
Kit Christen, Mrs. Helen Blossom. Jane 
Crabbs, Catherine Allison, Carrie Burns, 
Mary Conglcton, Ella Erwin, Sadie Gillig, 
Hattie Lewton, Fannie Peterson, Nettie 
Schrock, Marie Holloway, Anna Vance, 
Nannie Miller, Jennie Studabaker, Ella Rice, 
Orpha Erwin, Addie Blackburn, Viola Alli- 
son and Dora Lower. 

The Fortnightly Club was organized on 
the 13th day of September, 1894, with a 
membership of thirteen, an unlucky number, 
but a very fortunate club, as the preacher 
was with us in it all. The purpose of this 
club was social improvement and general re- 
search and discussion on any such subjects 
as might be selected by a member as his text 
for a paper to be read to the club and dis- 
sected at will by the other twelve. These 
meetings became very interesting, as many 
pet notions were put on "the frying pan" and 
roasted to a nice brown by all who cared to 
do so in the presence of the club. They 
promoted a careful study and a nice distinc- 
tion between fact and theory. This club per- 
haps had more subjects to consider than any 
other ever organized in the city. It had also 
a conservative, conscientious, combative 
crowd to consider them, such as had never 
before undertaken such a job outside of a 
college faculty. The charter members of 
this club were: James R. Bobo, J. S. 
Boyers, Dell Locke. Dave E. Smith, C. L. 
Walters, J. F. Snow, C. A. Dugan, J. T. 
Merryman, E. T Gregg, R. K. Erwin, J. F. 
Mann, A. D. MolYet, D. G. M. Trout. At 

the end of each year's work a banquet was 
■held and a general outline of the subjects 
briefly discussed. This club continued for 
three successive years and is still waiting the 
call of its president to reassemble for another 
year's work. The subjects presented the 
first year were, these: "The Birth and 
Growth of Myth," J. F. Mann ; "The Effects 
of Climate and Environment Upon Civiliza- 
tion," J. S. Boyers; "God," R. K. Erwin; 
"Anglo-Saxon in the Public Schools," A. 
D. Moffet; "Miracles," E. T. Gregg; "Ex- 
pense of Glory," David E. Smith; "Evolu- 
tion," D. G. M. Trout; "Is Genius Heredi- 
tary?" J. F. Snow; "Eclipses," C. A. Du- 
gan; "The Sun," Dell Locke; "Phrenology," 
C. L. Walters: "Mind," J. T. Merryman, 

Within its brief existence two members of 
this club were called away by death. The 
one was Judge J. R. Bobo, who in early life 
was a power in the field of thought, having 
served his constituents in Adams county in 
various fields of usefulness. He was school 
examiner, state representative, senator and 
circuit judge of the twenty-sixth judicial dis- 
trict for twelve years. Nature had be- 
stowed upon him the qualities of a profound 
thinker, an orator and statesman. When his 
brilliant intellect gleamed forth in oratory, 
though even on a doubtful side, defeat often 
gave place to victory. On his sixty-second 
birthday, June 4, 1901, he crossed the "Great 
Divide" to another life beyond. The other 
was the Rev E. T. Gregg, who spent four 
years of his spirited young life as pastor of 
the First Methodist church of Decatur. It 
was during the 30th ot May Deconuion day 
services of 1&59 that the word came from 
Kokomo, where he had recently moved, that 
"Rev. E. T. Gregg is no more." The mem- 
bers of this club and his many church friends 


20 1 

he'd his memorial service on the 4th day of 
lime, 1899, in which his past was viewed 
from the present by those who knew him 
Lc^t. Memorial addresses were delivered to 
a large audience assembled in the First 
Methodist Episcopal church by four of his 
club mates. They as given were: "E. T. 
Gregg as a Minister," by J. T. Merryman ; 
"E. T. Gregg as an Odd Fellow,", by J. F. 
Snow; "E. T. Gregg as a Mason," by R. 
K. Erwin ; "E. T. Gregg as a Citizen," by 
J. T. France. 

A similar memorial was held at Kokomo 
by his church brethren, which referred to 
E. T. Gregg as "A Layman," by Rev. A. S. 
Wooten; "As a Preacher," by Rev. T. T. 
Simpson; "As a Pastor," by Rev. W. YV. 
Daniels; "As an All-Round Man," by Rev. 
W. D. Parr. Some quotations taken from 
his expressions may give a better idea of the 
man : 

"This world is full of bandbox people. 
They are made of pasteboard and can con- 
tain nothing that has any weight in it. They 
occupy more space than they are worth, and 
never fail to obtrude themselves into the 

most conspicuous places, seeking to give out 
an impression of importance. They are 
mere empty shells, fit only for artificial 

"The busy man finds a place for what he 
lias a desire to do. It is the maid of honor 
to the queen who scarcely has anything to 
do, who never finds time for anything. The 
very busy man who perhaps has fifty letters 
to answer every day, always finds some time 
to help with his great executive ability, the 
causes that are near his heart." 

Whatever may the great hereafter be, a 
fitting remembrance will be observed. Not 
such as of a military genius, by noisy bands 
through crowded streets, thick set with ban- 
ners and plumes and glittering sabers and 
polished bayonets— but when the spring 
comes with its sunshine, birds and blossoms, 
a loyal procession of his comrades and coun- 
trymen will heap high his mound, by each a 
little flower, and drop a sympathetic tear on 
the grave of him who so young and so vig- 
orous, so full of promise and future expecta- 
tion, was so soon called to the great beyond. 


An ancient historical writer once de- 
scribed a model woman as from his point of 
view and finished with : "And where can 
such a one ever be found?" We have above 
given a brief outline of some women's clubs. 
1 hese have their spheres of action and men- 
tal development. There is but one club when 
•n the hands of the "new" woman a gen- 
ial tern . -to mankind. This is the 
"Come Home Husband Club," frequently 

called the broomstick. This is seldom used 
by the lion of the family. We are told that 
the day will come, and perhaps it is close at 
hand, that the "lion and the lamb will lie 
down in peace and harmony," perhaps in 
every household. In some households the 
club is laid aside and the new woman, if she 
may be so called, has taken up intellectual 
lines of work rather than the common life 
of so many women though their attainments 



are fine and intellectually able for many 
works of highest art. The pen has taken its 
place and the work of producing literature 
is with them a profession, not perhaps of 
invitation by their friends to write, but like 
Edgar Allen Poe or Phoebe Carey, with an 
energy that nothing but expression will sat- 
isfy. Intellectual energy, well directed, to- 
ward the cause of authorship has made the 
millions happy. What branch, may much 
depend upon the special turn of mind of the 
particular author. There may be many ave- 
nues to fame, but he or she who travels the 
line of authorship in search of it will ere 
long conclude that he has missed his bear- 
ing and wish that he had taken another road. 
If he or she has the ever-urging, controlling, 
prompting impulse to give written expres- 
sion to thought the work wiil go happily on 
whether or not the world cries or smiles. It 
is so much easier to choose a nice new book 
and read it than to write a nice new book for 
someone else to read. Ability, energy and 
continued labor of intellect and body are 
necessary to produce a worthy literary pro- 
duction. When we peruse the pages of a 
new publication the product of some ener- 
getic mind, we soon determine whether its 
course is traveling in the line upon which 
our interest lies. The subject may be one 
upon which we like to linger and view its 
beauties and read those inscriptions left by 
nature's hand. But should we stop to pluck 
a flower on our way and find it an imitation, 
an artificial rose, without perfume, our in- 
terest is lost at once and no effort can bring 
it back. The successful author of today 
must keep a few paces ahead of the aggres- 
sive moral and scientific people who move 
along by electi'' lines. The historical work 
on Company B, One-hundred-and-sixtieth 

Indiana Volunteer Infantry-, by George 
Bowers, a former resident of this county, 
but now a captain of police in the Philippine 
Islands, is an interesting work. Attorney 
Shaffer Peterson is the author of an exten- 
sive work on the "Citations of the Supreme 
and Appellate Courts of Indiana." He is 
now a practicing attorney in Decatur. "The 
Song of the Cardinal," "Freckles" and 
"What I Have Done with Birds," are three 
valuable literary productions from the pen 
of Mrs. Gene Stratton Porter, who is a resi- 
dent of Geneva, Indiana. Mrs. Porter is a 
specialist on birds and her works make fre- 
quent mention of these feathered songsters- 
in their mission to make the world more 
cheerful. Her last production is finely illus- 
trated with colored plates and is a valuable 
contribution to that class of literature. 

"Freckles," which appeared in 1904, has 
been dramatized by a London (England) 
playwright and will soon go on the stage in 
that country. "What I Have Done with 
Birds" appeared in the Home Journal of 
1907, and other volumes are forthcoming, 
as Mrs. Porter says that, "I am the busiest 
and hardest worked woman alive. I am 
just finishing a novel and in a week will be- 
afield again for the summer." 


The doctors of Adams county in its early 
days found very little that would in our time 
be an inducement for any one to stay in the 
country to build up his profession. Until 
about 1S60 the settlers were very much 
scattered and there was nothing in the 
shape of graded roads. The only way to 
travel from place to place was on horseback 
or to walk. No roads, no bridges, but few 



of the conveniences and often a scarcity of 
the necessities of life. Can one think of a 
doctor attempting - to cure a sick person when 
there was little food in the house with which 
to nourish him, and neighbors perhaps sev- 
eral miles away? But the doctor in the 
forties and fifties did not long stand on cere- 
monies; he did the best he could for his 
patient and let nature do the rest. Lack of 
suitable care and proper diet in those days 
doubtless lost many a valuable life. Some 
of the worst conditions and ailments they 
had to contend with were mumps, measles, 
milk sickness, malaria, mosquitoes and im- 
pure water. Epicac, calomel and quinine 
were dished out in telling quantities and the 
patient always got well — or died — under this 
treatment. The census of 1850 shows that 
the following named doctors were then prac- 
ticing in Adams county : William Trout, 
who could speak the German language, lived 
in Decatur; John F. Alsop resided near 
Pleasant Mills; J. C. Champer, at Mon- 
mouth; John N. Little, southeast of Deca- 
tur, on what is now the Elmer Johnson 
farm; Thomas B. Kimsey, in Root town- 
ship, northwest of Monmouth; Alexander 
Porter and John P. Porter and Jacob Pierce 
then resided in Decatur. There were per- 
haps some others who were in the county 
before some of these mentioned, but had re- 
moved to some other locality. A little later 
there came Dr. Lemuel Coverdale from Al- 
len county, perhaps about 1855 ; Thomas and 
John Pierce, in 1858, and in the southern 
part of the county came Dr. B. B. Snow, in 
i860; to the Wabash. Dr. J. B. Snow, to 
Linn Grove, in 1S62. Dr. William C. 
Vance; of New Corydon, but practiced in 
the sou'.hern part of the county, in 1S66, 

was in the army three year* preceding this ; 
Dr. James McDowel, Dr. S. G. Ralston, 
1865; Drs. A. G. VanCamp, John 
Burdg, in 186S; Dr. LeBlond. 
1872; Drs. Bergman, James Cakler- 
wood, John Neuenschwander, David Neuen- 
schwander, Peter A. Sprunger, P. B. Thom- 
as, William Broadwell, C. A. Zimmerman, 
J. C. Ulrnan, J. W. Stoneburner, at Berne 
came in 1S90. The northern pari of 
the county has since 1875 had these doctors : 
T. T. Dorwin, F. A. Jelleff and his son, 
Charles Jelleff; W. W. Vanness, A. T. Sorg, 
A. G. Holloway, R. J. Freeman and several 
others. Those now in the practice in Deca- 
tur are: J. S. Coverdale and his son, E. G. 
Coverdale; W. P. Miller, \V. W. McMillen, 
C. A. Smith, J. S. Boyers, Mrs. M. L. Hol- 
loway, D. D. Clark and C. S. Clark. B. P. 
Thomas, S. D. Beavers, H. F. Costello. 

The dentists at present are: Drs. J. Q. 
Neptune, Dick Neptune, Roy Archbold and 
Bert Mangold. Dr. Glen was the first den- 
tist who located in Decatur, in 1880, re- 
mained but a short time. Dr. A. L. DeVii- 
biss was the first permanent dentist to con- 
tinue the practice for any length of time. He 
came to Decatur in 1876 and remained until 
the time of his death, perhaps in 189S. II. 
R. Raper, present dentist at Geneva. 

The medical profession of this county as 
a general thing has been represented by a 
moral, high class of citizenship. The towns 
throughout the county have their physicians, 
as: Dr. J. C. Grandstaff, at Preble; Dr. J. 
W. Vizard, at Pleasant Mills; Dr. J. T. 
McKean. at Linn Gro.-e; Dr. L. L. Mattax. 
H. M. Aspy, W. R. Braton, O. M. Graham, 
C. R. Price, W. W. Swarts, at Geneva, and 
Drs. M. F. Parrish and A. C. Ryl, at Mon- 



roe; Ernest Franz, Amos Reusser, R. S. 
Wilson, Catherine Kuntz, Charles H. 
Schenck, C. L. Simkins, at Berne. 


If it were not for the ignorance and 
greed of mankind the lawyer's pro- 
fession would soon be abandoned by, 
many bright minds that are devoted to the 
cause of securing just men their rights. 
Some contentious specimens of genus homo 
may be heard in condemnation of the dishon- 
est lawyers. He is the very first individual 
to seek the advice and counsel of the shrewd 
attorney to pull him past his danger of stand- 
ing behind prison bars. Were it not for the 
kindly counsel of our most able attorneys the 
very ones who are loudest in his condemna- 
tion would be the surest convicts. A good 
lawyer, a*s a good doctor, saves worry, 
health and reputation of his clients and is a 
model citizen. Ever) - class of men have their 
demagogues and some who are no credit to 
their community. But be it to the credit of 
the legal profession, there are fewer of them 
wearing prison ^stripes than of some other 
classes who claim to be twenty-four karats 
fine — a claim never hinted at by the lawyer. 
The responsibility of systems of enactments 
rest with the people. There is but one satis- 
factory issue with a lawyer: Where does 
justice lie; what are my client's rights? 
What the law is, becomes in the hands of the 
courts, what the judge- and the lawyers think 
the law ought to be. The requirement for 
an attorney-at-law in the forties was far dif- 
ferent from what it is now. Then but few 
lawyers had more books than could be car- 
ried under one a..n; and some "f them not 
of recent date. However, justice was the 

thing sought after then as now. And in cer- 
tain instances there was much less ceremony 
in procuring it. All the judges along in the 
forties and even later were supposed to dress 
within the dignity of their office. A part of 
their apparel must contain a silk hat, known 
as a tile or plug hat now, a silk or satin vest, 
tall standing white collar, doeskin panta- 
loons and "pumps," a low, comfortable slip- 
per. An attorney who did not properly ad- 
dress the court was publicly reprimanded, 
and if he entered his objections was sum- 
marily fined. The court that attempted to 
hold his sessions without his silk tile and 
other equipage was not worthy any special 
recognition, and an attorney was exempt 
from the fine or reprimand until the dignity 
of the court was maintained. Among 
the earliest lawyers who were residents 
of the county were Beatty McLel- 
lan. in 1840; William H. Baugh. in 
184S; William Carson. 1S50; William G. 
Spencer, 1849; David Studabaker, 1852; 
James R. Bobo, i860. One of the first cases 
docketed is "Alexander Smith, treasurer 
school section 16, township 27, range 15 
east, vs. Thomas Ruble. Dismissed and 
costs paid." This dates from 1838. Eze- 
kiel Hooper, William Elzey were associate 
judges. The first divorce case was docketed 
in 1849, Joseph Ross vs. Mary Ross. The 
case was decided against Mr. Ross, with 
thirteen dollars and seventy-eight cents costs 
and twenty-five dollars alimony. The next 
divorce case was Ruthanett Giiiispie vs. 
John B. Giiiispie. This is marked "contin- 
ued" and is still pending. There was a rather 
amusing "incident in thecase of the state of 
Indiana vs. J. C. Fiuley. The court then sat 
much as the county board of commissioner-, 
the two together, but the "dignity of the 



court" was "on," that made some difference 
perhaps. Finley had been arrested on a 
charge of horse stealing. The court was on 
the bench, but in the old court house there 
was no consultation rooms down on the first 
floor. The prisoner was brought in by the 
sheriff and as all was ready for trial, he was 
asked to plead to the indictment. Ke plead 
"Not guilty." The court asked him if he had 
counsel. He said that he had not. Turning 
to a young" attorney, whose home was then 
at Fort Wayne, the court said : "Jinkinson, 
clear that man." Mr. Jinkinson then asked 
permission to take the prisoner just around 
the corner of the court house for a consulta- 
tion with him, which the court granted. 
When back of the court house with his client 
he said: "Are you guilty of the offense as 
alleged in the indictment?" "Yes," said the 
prisoner, "they caught me with the goods." 
"Have you any money ?" "Yes, I have ten 
dollars." "Well, let's have it. Now you see 
that woods there, don't you? See how long 
it will take you to be through it to the Indi- 
ana state line." Mr. Jinkinson paced backand 
forth outside the house for thirty minutes 
or more. , The sheriff came and called from 
the court house door, "Jinkinson, the court 
is ready to go on with the trial ; bring your 
client and come in." Mr. Jinkinson walked 
leisurely in and took his seat. The court in- 
quired: "Mr. Jinkinson, where is your 
client?" "Why, your honor, I cleared him." 
The sheriff threatened and the court gave 
each other a bewildered look, but the pris- 
oner never returned. 

William H. Eaugh. William W. Carson 
and William G. Spencer were among the 
early resident lawyers of Adams county. The 
two former did not long remain here. Mr. 
Spencer practiced his profession until 1S60, 

at which time he was chosen county auditor 
and served eight years, after which he en- 
gaged in other pursuits. In the period sub- 
sequent to i860 there is a long list of worthy 
names shown on the bar calendar of the 
courts of the county. Among them are 
some who by the favorable turn of fortune's 
wheel have reached the height of eminence 
worthy the efforts of any energetic public- 
spirited citizen, that of the judgeship. 
Among those of worthy mention may be 
named Judge David Studabaker, who as 
one of the first resident attorneys, began 
the practice of his profession first in Adams 
county. He studied law at Portland with 
Judge J. M. Haines, who afterwards in 1872 
became circuit judge of the twenty-sixth 
judicial district. Mr. Studabaker by birth 
was a native of Ohio, having been born at 
Fort Recovery in 1S27. At the age of seven 
years he came with his parents to Adams 
county and settled on the Wabash river on 
what is since known as the Price farm. 
When he was thirteen years old his father 
died and being the eldest child, much more 
was required of him than of his younger 
brothers and sister. His father was a farm- 
er according to the custom of the day, but 
from time to time assisted in the purchase 
and sale of furs, etc., which was a source of 
much profit to him. David Studabaker, by 
his careful and industrious habits not only 
became a master mind in his line of pursuit, 
whether as a scholar in the early common 
schools or as a student of Blackstone, or in 
the intricate work attendant upon the busi- 
ness of banking and the management of his 
extensive monied interests. Pie is said to 
have attended one of the first district schools 
taught in Wells county, Indiana, as his uncle 
lived close to that county. Later he at- 



tended the Jay county seminary arid a high 
school near Greenville, Ohio. He subse- 
quently taught in the district schools of 
Adams and Wells counties. In 1852, while 
at Portland, Indiana, he was admitted to the 
bar. The Hon. Jeremiah Smith was then the 
presiding judge. In the same year he came 
to Decatur to practice his chosen profession. 
It is said that while living with his mother 
in their home on the Wabash he was greatly 
encouraged in his pursuit of his law studies 
by P. N. Collins, an acquaintance and politi- 
cal leader, and by his lifelong friend and 
neighbor, David McDonald, who subse- 
quently became sheriff of Adams county and 
served in the state legislature as a repre- 
sentative. Mr. McDonald, '"Uncle David." 
as he was commonly called, was something 
of a hunter and chuck full of military dispo- 
sition. He and the prospective judge would 
take to the woods. While there he would 
insist on "Dave," as he always called him, to 
make a speech. When through he would 
snap his fingers and encourage him by com- 
menting on what great advancement he had 
made since last he had heard him. 

About 1S50 John K. Evans was associate 
judge of the district in which Adams county 
is located. In 1S54 David Studabaker was 
married to a daughter of Judge Evans — 
Harriet Evans. They went to Fort Wayne, 
but returned in a few years to Decatur, at 
which place they continued to reside. As a 
public official he served as prosecuting attor- 
ney in 1S52, as a legislator 1-854-58. as a 
state senator 1S5S for Jay, Wells and Adams 
counties: in 1869 in the court of common 
pleas as judge for Adams. Alien, Wells and 
Huntington counties, but resigned before his 
term of office had expired. James R. Bobo 
was another oi Adams county's able sons. 

Nature has given few men the intellect and 
the ability to apply it that she gave to Mr. 
Bobo. He was born in Ohio in 1839 and in 
185 1 his parents moved to Indiana, and in 
1S54 came to Adams county. He attended 
the district school and after his eighteenth 
year attended three years at Crown Point, 
Lake county, schools and subsequently be- 
came a teacher in the public schools of 
Adams and adjoining counties. In 1858 he 
entered the law office of David Studabaker 
and commenced the study of law. In i860 
he was admitted to the bar of the Adams 
circuit court and later became a law partner 
of his preceptor. In 1861 he was married to 
Miss Almyra Clayton and thence afterward 
to the date of his death, which was on his 
sixty-second birthday, resided in Decatur. 
His great energy and his fine social traits 
made him a popidar "mixer" and he entered 
the political field as a winner from the first. 
In i8(">2 he was chosen by the county board 
of commissioners as school examiner, whose 
duties were somewhat similar to those of the 
present county superintendent. This posi- 
tion he held until 1866, at which time he 
resigned to serve as state representative in 
the Indiana general assembly. The district 
then was composed of Adams and Wells 
counties. And in 1870 he was elected to 
the senate for the district composed of 
Adams. Wells and Allen counties. In 1876 
he was chosen circuit judge of the Twenty- 
sixth judicial district, which then was com- 
posed of Adams and Jay counties, and was 
re-elected in 1882. thus serving as judge for 
twelve consecutive years. The death of 
James R. Bobo occurred on June 4. 
1901. Daniel D. Heller is another of the 
young men who virtually grew up with the 
county. When he came to Decatui in 1867 



the town was about the present size of Pleas- 
ant Mills and in some respects was much 
like that village. Mr. Heller learned most 
of his law knowledge by close and continued 
application to his studies in the preparation 
of his cases while practicing in Adams 
county. He is an Ohioan by birth and his 
preceptors were Stambaugh & Bartleson, of 
Philadelphia, Ohio. Mr. Heller was bom 
on the 29th of March, 1S39; was educated 
in the New Hagerstown Academy, in Car- 
roll county, and ranked as one of the first 
orators of the school. Nature blessed him 
with the power tc think and talk, oppor- 
tunity as an attorney developed his gifts. Of 
the orators in eastern Indiana he ranks well 
to the front. Mr. Heller was admitted to the 
bar in 1863 and located first at Millersburg, 
Ohio, remained there a short time and came 
to Adams county in 1867 and has since re- 
sided in Decatur. In 1872 was appointed 
school examiner and by the act of the legis- 
lature of 1873, which created the office of 
county superintendent, was made the first to 
hold that office in the county. His ability 
as a lawyer had won for him such a prac- 
tice by 1874 that he resigned the superin- 
tendency to give his whole attention to the 
practice of his profession. His unassuming 
disposition retarded his advancement as an 
office seeker, but his friends nominated and 
elected him as city mayor of Decatur in 
1885. He served until 1S88, at which time 
he was nominated to the circuit judgeship of 
the twenty-sixth judicial district ; was 
elected and re-elected, serving in this ca- 
pacity for twelve consecutive years. At the 
expiration of his term of office Mr. Heller 
tamed a partnership with his soii, H. B. 
> teller, who is now prosecuting attorney for 
fl»e twenty-sixth judicial district. He has 

been engaged in many of the most important 
cases in the county since his retirement from 
the bench. 

It was during Judge Heller's terms of 
office that the first regular court reporter was 
employed to take down irj shorthand the pro- 
ceedings of the various trials, the evidence 
of the witnesses, objections and motions of 
the counsel in the progress of the trial of 
the cases brought to the notice of the court. 
Miss Adda Snow was the first regular court 
reporter in the Adams circuit court. She 
was also the first woman notary public in 
Adams county. She served as such reporter 
for a period of eight years. She is at this 
time in Los Angeles, California, conducting 
a school of shorthand and bookkeeping in 
that city. Judge Heller was succeeded in 
the office of circuit judge by Richard K. Er- 
win, an ambitious, aspiring young attorney, 
who was born and reared in Adams county, 
the date of his birth being July 11, 1S60; 
was admitted to the bar in 1887; married 
January 17, 1883, to Miss Luella Wass, of 
his native township — Union ; elected to the 
circuit judgeship in November, 1901, for a 
term of six years. His successor to the 
judgeship is James T. Merryman, whose 
term of office begins on the 23d day of No- 
vember, 1907. Mr. Merryman has had over 
twenty-five successful years of experience as 
an attorney in Decatur, about fifteen years of 
which were in partnership with John T. 
France, one of the most able practitioners at 
the Decatur bar. James T. Merryman was 
born on the 1st day of October, 1854, in 
Washington township, in Adams county, In- 
diana ; received a good common school edu- 
cation, which he has supplemented by a con- 
stant study of the latest lines of useful 
knowledge ; was deputy county clerk in 1876, 



admitted to the bar of the Adams circuit 
court in 1SS1 ; elected mayor of Decatur in 
18S2; was married August 29. 1878, to Miss 
Louisa P. Albers, and since has continuously 
resided in Decatur. 

J. T. France was born in Delaware coun- 
ty, Ohio, on the 5th of December, 1853, 
came with hisparents to Adams county about 
iSf)i; received a good common school edu- 
cation and attended the Decatur high school 
several terms; studied law with France & 
Miller ; later went into partnership with his 
father in the law and auctioneering business; 
bad several other partners later, and in Jan- 
uary, 18S3, formed a partnership with the 
present judge-elect. J. T. Merryman, which 
continued until the spring of 1S97, when it 
was dissolved to engage in the law business 
with his son. On the 19th of October, 1876, 
he was married to Isabella Corbin. Mr. 
France Was elected prosecuting attorney in 
1878 ami re-elected in 18S0 for the Twenty- 
sixth judicial district, composed of Jay and 
Adams counties; conducted one of the heavi- 
est mufder case^ ever tried in the county in 
18S3. the Stale vs. Fred Richards and 
Charles \\'erst. Both defendants were 
found guilty and' sent to the state's prison. 
After a long and tedious trial in one of the 
defalcation suits of the ex-county treasurer 
he took down sick and died, November 12, 
1899. Perhaps the oldest attorney at this 
time in the county is Robert S. Peterson, 
who has practically discontinued the prac- 
tice. Several ethers, as Judson W. Teeple, 
Clark J. Lutz. Shatter Peterson, Paul G. 
Hooper, D. D. Heller, -have been engaged in 
the practice at Deeatiif for more than twen- 
ty-five years. Others have died or moved 
away. C. M. Fiance is at Van Wert. Ohio; 
J. F. Mann at Anderson, Indiana; J. E. 

Thomas at Cardwell, Missouri ; J. Fred 
France at Huntington, Indiana; P. E. Manly 
at Marion, Indiana; P. L. Andrews, en- 
gaged in the newspaper business at the Deca- 
tur Journal office; Jeremiah Manly, John 
Baily, Elias G. Coverdale, F. A. Huffman 
and David Studabaker are deceased. Within 
the last ten years the court docket shows that 
a large number of persons have been ad- 
mitted to the bar of the Adams circuit court, 
but that is the last that is ever heard of them 
in the courts. They have as jet made no 
effort to practice in this court. Among that, 
number are several sons of men who wanted 
to make lawyers of their boys, but found, 
after spending large sums of money on them, 
that they either had no capacity for the pro- 
fession or that their liking was entirely in 
another direction. Among the number ad- 
mitted to the bar are two women — Miss Ef- 
fie Battenbcrg and Miss Blanche Hart. Miss 
Hart is a fine stenographer and was one of 
those chosen by the state legislative commit- 
tee to take down the proceedings of a certain 
important committee in its work connected 
with the 1907 session of the Indiana general 

The resident members of the Adams 
county bar who at this time are giving their 
attention to the practice 01 law are : Shaffer 
Peterson, D. D. Heller. R. S. Peterson, J. 
W. Teeple, Paul G. Hooper, Clark J. Lutz, 
J. T. Merryman, J. C. Moran, David E. 
Smith, Lewis C. DeVoss, A. P. Beatty, John 
Schurger, E. Bert Lenhart, J. F. Snow, B. 
W. Sholty, F. M. Schermyer, Huber M. 
DeVoss. Dore B. Frwiu, Henry B. Heller. 
Ear! B. Adams, C. L. Walters, J. Fred 
Fruchte. Jesse Sutton, Fred Literer. Frank 
Cottcrel. Emil Franz, William Drew, S. A. 
M. Butcher, Jacob Butcher and R. K. Erwin. 




In writing of some other people we find 
that Robert D. Patterson is the oldest con- 
tinuous resident of Decatur. He has lived 
in the town since 1838. 

That Dr. D. G. M. Trout has lived contin- 
uously in Decatur since 1846. 

That Jehu Smith was born October 12, 
1S38, and was the first white child born in 
Saint Mary's township. 

That Peter Holthouse, who was born Oc- 
tober 25, 1841, was the second white child 
bom in Washington township. That his 
wife, Mary Closs before her marriage, was 
the first female white child born in Decatur. 

That the McGriff brothers were the oldest 
twins in the United States. John McGriff 
lived in Geneva ; Richard in Ohio. That 
they were about ninety-six years old before 
they died ;Richard in 1899 and John in 1900. 

That Robert Simison, who entered one 
hundred and forty-seven acres of land in 
Hartford township at one dollar and twenty- 
five cents' an acre, is still living; he is ninety- 
six years old. That he saw Andrew Jack- 
son, William H. Harrison and Henry Clay. 
Shook hands with Clay and Jackson and 
heard all of them make speeches. 

That William Nottingham, who lived in 
Kirkland township in 1850, was one hun- 
dred and seven years old — then said to be 
the oldest person who ever lived in the 

That Adams county now has a great 
friend of its native forest groves in Willard 
Steele. He, by his own untiring efforts, has 
growing fine ash groves, maple groves and 
elm and willow groves in what is known as 

Steele's Park, a one-hundred-and-fifteen- 
acre tract near Decatur. There may be from 
three to four thousand trees growing as 

That from 1825 to 1845 there was a man 
who traveled up and down the Wabash, the 
Saint Mary's and Maumee rivers and planted 
groves of apple trees. One. of his nurseries 
•was just above New Corydon on the Wa- 
bash and several of them were on the Mau- 
mee river. His name was John Chapman, 
commonly known as "Johnny Appleseed." 
He died at the home of William Worth, in 
Saint Joseph township, Allen county, on the 
nth day of March, 1845. 

That Adams county now claims one of the 
smallest, one of the heaviest and one of the 
tallest young men in eastern Indiana. Jo- 
seph Brunegraph is thirty-one years old, is 
four feet two inches high and 
weighs eighty-five pounds. Everybody 
calls him "Little Joe." That Wil- 
liam Ostemeyer, a former resident 
of Root township, is thirty-one years old, 
six feet and nine inches high and weighs 
one hundred and eighty pounds. That Or- 
ville Harruff, a resident of Decatur, is twen- 
ty-four years old, six feet three inches high 
and weighs three hundred and seven pounds. 
Was born in Berne, is deputy surveyor and 
is as active as any young man of less flesh. 

That Decatur has the finest, brightest and 
best-looking fifteen-year-old triplets in east- 
ern Indiana. That they are the children of 
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Miller. Their names 
are: Frances, Ruth and Grover Miller, and 
they were born on the 23d day of September, 





Adams county began its existence by an 
enactment of the Indiana general assembly 
in 1836. In compliance with this act the 
governor issued a writ of election to select 
the necessary executh e officers for the new 
county. The first election was held on the 
first Monday in April, 1836, and John S. 
Rhea, Samuel Smith and William Heath, Jr., 
were chosen as county commissioners, whose 
duty it was to have a county scat located, 
divide the county into proper number of 
town-ships, have court house and other pub- 
lic buildings erected and to have the general 
supervision of the revenues and finances of 
the county. Samuel L. Rugg, the founder 
of the town of Decatur, and the originator of 
establishing the new county, was elected to 
serve as county clerk and auditor combined. 
David McKnight was elected to serve as 
sheriff and assessor combined. John K. 
Evans was appointed as collector of the 
state and county revenues for the term of one 
year. The elective officers were all to serve 
until the next succeeding election, which oc- 
curred in October of the same year, 1836. 
We are frequently reminded that there are 
three things that we cannot recall — the 
spoken word, the written line and the lost 
opportunity. This opportunity to secure an 
office in a new county was somewhat con- 
tagious, as many candidates started out on a 
wild-goose chase to locate their friends and 
to make some new ones. Some of the con- 
tests were very spirited and the votes close. 
Colonel William Vance was made repre- 
sentative by a majority of three votes in 
1839: EsataS Daily was elected county com- 
missioner m 1840 by- a majority of two 

votes. Samuel L. Rugg was elected re- 
corder in 1841 by a majority of five votes. 
James Crabbs elected county treasurer in 
1841 by a majority of three votes. In 1842 
Union township had her first vote. Elisha 
E. Parret received all the votes then polled 
at that election, which were nine, for repre- 
sentative. Samuel S. Mickle in 1843 re- 
ceived two hundred and twenty-nine votes 
and his opponent, Zachariah Smith, received 
two hundred and twenty-five votes for rep- 
resentative. Alexander Fleming received 
two hundred and twenty-seven \otes for 
sheriff in 1S44 and his opponent, William 
Gilson, received two hundred and twenty- 
four votes. William Trout in 1845 received 
two hundred and thirty-one votes for au- 
ditor and his opponent. George A. Dent, re- 
ceived two hundred and twenty-eight votes. 
Isaac Wheeler in 1847 received two hundred 
and eighty votes for county commissioner 
and Peter Kizer, his opponent, received two 
hundred and seventy-eight votes. Samuel L. 
Rugg in 1S49 received three hundred and 
ninety-two votes for county clerk and his 
opponent. William A. Bugh, received three 
hundred and sixty-seven votes. The county- 
seat location in 1S50 showed that there were 
for Pleasant Mills two votes; for Monmouth 
there were fourteen votes; for Monroe there 
were three hundred and forty-three votes, 
and that for Decatur there were four hun- 
dred and seventy-four votes. It is said that 
if it had not been for the "influence" that 
the Crabbes and Nutman stores used upon 
the voters that Monroe would have won the 
county seat. All the candidates from the 
south part of the county were then elected 



at this same election except where they were 
of different politics. The vote in 185 1 on 
the "colonization and exclusion of negroes 
and mulattoes from Indiana" stood: Yes, 
;4 1 ; no, 120. In 1867 there were three can- 
didates in the field for county surveyor. The 
Republican, H. C. Peterson, was elected. In 
the elections of 1874 and 1886 the auditors 
were elected by small majorities, one by 
a majority of sixty-nine votes and the other 
by forty-four majority. Those who were 
candidates and were unsuccessful have one 
consolation at least, that they had the race, 
if the other fellow did get the "goose." 

As soon as the county was organized there 
were courts provided to aid in the enforce- 
ment of the laws of the state. However, 
there were courts with jurisdiction in this 
territory long before the county organiza- 
tion; The dates hereafter given are gen- 
erally the time the officer was elected : 

Associate Judges. — Ezekiel Hooper and 
William Elzey, 1838; John K. Evans and 
Ezekiel Hooper, 1842; William Stockham 
and Eugene A. Bunner, 1S49. New consti- 
tution. Office abolished. 

Probate Judges. — Jacob Barks, 1837; 
James Crabbs, 1839; Robert Tisdale, 1840; 
Josepbus Martin, 184 1 ; Alvin Randall, 
1842; David Showers, 1849. Office abol- 

Prosecuting Attorneys. — R. J. Dawson, 
1843; E. A. McMahon, 1845; William A. 
Hucrh, 1S48; William W. Corson, 1S49; 
James B. Simcoke, 185 1 ; John McConnell, 
r85fi; James L. Worden, 1S53; E. R. Wil- 
'■•■n. 1854; W. G. Spencer. 1855; William 
>mith. 1857; J. H. Shell. 1S5S; W. S. 
Smith, i860} James H. Shell. 1S62. Two 
:\',w — common pleas and circuit court — B. 
' • though, common pleas; Joseph XV. Dailey, 

circuit court, 1S68; J. R. Bittenger, common 
pleas, 1872; J. W. Dailey, circuit court, 
1874; common pleas abolished ; Joshua Bish- 
op, circuit court, 1876; L. I. Baker, 1878; 
John T. France, 1880; E. G. Vaughn, 1884; 
Richard Hartford, 188S; George T. Whit- 
taker, 1S90; Richard Hartford, 1892; David 
E. Smith, 1896; John C. Moran, 1900: 
Henry B. Heller, 1906. 

County Sheriffs, — David McKnight, 
1836; Zachariah Smith, 1836; Alvin Ran- 
dal, 1840; Alexander Fleming, 1842; James 
B. Simcoke, 1846; John N. Little, 1S48; 
David McDonald, 1850; Jacob King, 1854; 
David McDonald, 1856; George Frank, 
1858; Jacob Stults, 1862 ; James Stoops, Jr., 
1866; David King, 1870: E. P. Stoops, 
1874; Henry Krick, 1S78; Michael McGriff, 
1882; Perry A. Lewton, 1886 (died in of- 
fice) ; L. W. Lewton filled out the term from 
18S9; Mark M. McConnell, 1890; Samuel 
Doak, 1892; Peter P. Ashbaucher, 1S94; 
Dan N. Erwin, 1S9S; Albert A. Butler, 
1902; Eli Myers, 1906. 

County Surveyors.-— P. N. Collins, 1852; 
E. W. Reed, 185S; H. Hart, 1859; C. F. 
Stauffer, 1S60; H. C. Peterson, 1S68; Harry 
B. Knoff, 1S70; Gabriel F. Kintz, 1874; 
James T. Simcoke, 18S2 : John XV. Tyndall, 
1886; William E. Fulk, 1894; George Mc- 
Kean, 1900; Levi L. Baumgartner, 1904. 

County Coroners. — Jonas Pence, 1836; 
John W. Cooley, 1837; Enos M. Butler. 
1838; Daniel W r eimer, 1839; James Niblick, 
1840; William Elzey, 1844; Jacob King, 
1846; Jesse Niblick, 1848; Thomas W. An- 
drews, 1850; Charles Gorsline, 1S52; Levi 
Ewing. 1853; Cornelius B. Lcmaster, 1854; 
Levi Ewing, 185C; John King, Jr., 1859; 
D. D. Barnhart. i860; William D. Baker. 
1S6S: John E. Smith, 1S70; S. C. Dolman, 



1874; J. E. Smith, 1876; A. B. Tullis. i8;S; 
J. E. Smith, 18S0; C. A. Jelleff, 1886; O. 
T. May, 1S90; C. S. Clark, 1S94; C. H. 
Schenck, 1902; J. S. Fa!k, 1904; J. C. 
Grandstaff, 1906. 

County Treasurers — Jeremiah Roe, 1836; 
John Reynolds, 1S36; James Crabbs, 1841 ; 
Samuel S. Mickle, 1847; James B. Simcoke, 
1S48; John Crawford, 1S52; David Show- 
ers, 1856; Charles L. Schermeyer, i860; 
Jesse Niblick, 1864; John Meibers, 1868; 
John Dirksou, 1872; Anthony Holchouse, 
1876; Robert D. Patterson, 1880; Andrew 
Gottschalk, 1884; Perry Robison, 188S: 
Daniel P. Bolds, 1892; Jonas Neuenschwan- 
der, 1896; J. H. Vbglewede, 1900; John F. 
Lachot, 1904. 

County Recorders. — Samuel L. Rugg, 
1841; Oliver T. Hart, 184S; William J. 
Adlesperger, 1858; ML V. B. Simcoke, 1866; 
J. J. Chubb, 1870; John Schurger, 1874; A. 
McW. Bollman, 1882; William Laughman, 
1890; Harvey II. Harruff. 1894; Thomas 
M. Gallogley, 189S; Clinton C. Cloud, 1902; 
Harvey Steele, 1906. 

County Clerks. — Samuel L. Rugg, 1S36; 
Samuel S. Mickle, 1854; James B. Simcoke, 
1855;' John McConnell. 1863; A. J. Hill. 
1875; Nerval Blackburn. 187S: J. D. Hale, 
1S82; John H. Lenhart, 1890; Elmer John- 
son, 189S; David Gerber, 1902; James P. 
Haefling, 1906. 

Land Appraisers. — George Frank, 1S63 ; 
Andrew Barkley, 1869; Ferdinand Rciu- 
king, 1875. Office abolished. 

County Auditors.— George A. Dent, 
1 84 1 ; William Trout, 1S45; Joan McCon- 
nell, 1850; William G. Spencer, 1859; Se- 
inour Worden, 1867; Godfry Christen, 
1875; Lewis C Miller. 1882; W. It. H. 
Fran.., 1895 (died in office), lrvin Brandy- 

berry filled out the term to 1896; Xoah 
Mangold, 1S96; Abe A. Boch, 1900; Carey 
D. Lewton, 1904. 

County Commissioners. — John S. Rhea. 
l8 3^-37; Samuel Smith, 1836-37; William 
Heath, 1836-38; Philip Everman, 1836-38; 
I. D. Simison, 1S38-39; Esaias Dailey, 1839- 
40; George A. Dent, 1840-41; William 
Vance, 1840-43; B. J. Brittson, 1841-4J; 
John Lephart, 1842-43; James Coffee, 1843- 
45; John McConnell, 1844-46; George Cas- 
key, 1845-47; George Heath, 1846-48; 
Isaac Wheeler,. 1847-49; Andrew Daughcr- 
ty, 1848-50; M. F. Burkhead, 1849-54; 
Charles Nelson. 1850-51 ; George Heath, 
1851-53: Jonathan Kelly, 1853-55; Conrad 
Reinking, 185.1-64; Joseph R. Miller, 1S55- 
59; David Aber, 1856-57; Josiah Crawford. 
1857-74; M. F. Burkhead, 1861-64; Jacob 
Sarff, 1864-68; George \V. Luckey, 186S- 
74: George Frank, iSjc-j^: Joseph Spuller. 
1874-78 (died in office) ; John Ruprigbt. 
1880-86; Benjamin Runyou, 1874-S0; Lean- 
der Dunbar, 1880-86; Daniel Weldy, 187O- 
82; Jacob Yager, 1882-88; George Pontius. 
1886-S9; Henry Fueling. 1SS6-92; Henry 
Stacy, 1S89-92; Conrad Brake, 188S-94: 
J. H. Hobrock, 1892-95; Samuel Fetter?. 
1892-95; David Eckrote, 1S94-97; J. E. 
Mann, 1896-1902; Samuel Doak, 1S96- 
1902; Frederick Reppert, 1S98-1902; Jacob 
Abnett, 1900-04 (died in office) ; Martin 
Laughlin, 1904; David Werling, 1902; \\ il- 
liam Miller, 1906. 

The first boards of commissioners had 
much less business to transact and the attor- 
neys in that day with the spirit of the times 
would present some legal documents that 
were to the point, perhaps, but they were 
" wonders" to behold from a legal point or 
view. The following petition for the ap- 



. .-tincnl of county assessor will perhaps 

,-vriiain itself: 

•• i',> the Honorable Board of Adams County 

Commissioners, Greeting: 

•'Your humble petitioner, John Curtis, of 
■ :iM county, prays your honors that he may 
be appointed assessor to assess the county 
;•!(- present season, which he proposes to do 
for ninety cents per day, all of which is re- 
-pectfuliy submitted. Your petitioner deems 
it highly necessary at this time to apprise 
vuiir honors why he should be appointed in 
preference to those othere boys that are like- 
v. ise aspirants for the same high and hon- 
orable office. He is a man of about the high- 
est standing in northern Indiana, measuring 
precisely with a new pair of boots on, six 
feet three and a quarter inches. Now, your 
honors, are probably aware of the great ad- 
vantage the county would derive by its be- 
ing once assessed by a man of such high 
Manning, and that would do it correctly and 
precisely right, so that it would be a prece- 
dent for all other persons in the same office 
to be governed by. And, besides, would it 
not be a case of some pride to our citizens 
to have it? said their county was once as- 
sessed a little ihe slickest of any in the state? 
Desides likewise (but I scorn to boast of 
myself), just let old Dick speak once. The 
horse I am going to ride is a smasher. It 
is probably enough for me to say of him that 
be is the same identical horse once owned by 
Simeon Rogers, Esq., that outrun the horse- 
thieves and the rest of the horses found out 
it was no use to run. It's no use, he is one 
of the best-made horses for said purpose in 
•Juliana. And I defy any man to make one 
nali so good. For besides being very speedy 
on the Wei, smooth road, he is a little hip- 

shot, which makes him jump the brush, 
roots and log heaps to a fraction. Besides 
being a little hipshot, at his twitching he al- 
ways unwinds my legs from behind or 
around the saplings in the woods. Now 
said horse will slip his bridle and won't 
stand tied or hitched nohow ; so that I cannot 
set and talk long and it will be an utter im- 
possibility for it to take me half so long as 
the rest of them gabbering boys. Your peti- 
tioner believing that your honors will ever 
look to the interest of your county, there- 
fore, he will ever pray. John Cup.tis." 

Surely no board of commissioners could 
have the hard-heartedness to disregard such 
a petition, especially when it presents so 
many law points as this one does. 

Judges of Circuit and Common Pleas 
Courts. — The record is not complete of these 
elections because the districts comprised sev- 
eral counties. However, some of the first 
of record in Adams county are: E. A. 
McMahan, 1852, circuit court; James W. 
Borden, 1852, common pleas; Joseph S. 
France, 1859, common pleas; Robert Low- 
ery, 1870, circuit court; David Studabaker, 
1 868, common pleas, Adams, Allen, Hunt- 
ington and Wells; J. M. Hayncs, common 
pleas, 1S69; J. R. Bobo, 1876-89, circuit 
court; D. D. Heller, 18S9-1900, circuit 
court: R. K. Erwin, 1900-06, circuit court; 
J. T. Merryman, 1906, circuit court (term 
begins November 23, 1907). 

County Assessors. — The county assessors 
began with A. J. Porter, 1892; Elias Christ, 
1896; George W. Gentis, 1906. . 

County Council-at-Large. — For 1900, 
Frank Heimann, Samuel Soldner, William 
Holle. Andrew Holmes, Abel J. Hawk, Na- 
than Ehrman; for 1902, William Holle, 



Frank Heimann, Samuel Soldner; for 1906, 
Ezra E. Zimmerman, Andrew Briggs and 
Frank Wechter. 

County Council. — For 1900-02, David 
Steele, II. H. Myers, Peter Soldner and 
John Cramer; for 1906, Herman Reinking, 
Mathias Kirsch, William Batimgartner and 
John 0. Kraner. 

State Representatives. — Where two, as 
joint and separate, names appear they are 
given the same date. William Vance. 1836; 
N. B. Hawkins, 1840; R. S. Tisdale, 1841 ; 
Elisha E. Parret, 1842; Samuel S. Mickle, 
1843; Robert Huey, 1844; S. S. Mickle, 
1845: John Dearn, 1846; David McDonald, 
1847; S. S. Mickle, 1S4S; Berket M. Elkins, 
1850; John Crawford, 185 1 ; W. G. Spen- 
cer, 1S52; David Studabaker, 1855; Jona- 
than Kelly, 1859; P. N. Collins, 18&1 ; James 
R. Bobo, 1867; George McDowel, 1871; 
John McConnell, 1873; A. N. Martin, 1875; 
D. J. Spencer, 1877; J- S. Daily, 1S79; D - 
F. Kain and David Baker, 18S1 ; Levi Mock, 
18S3-S5; David Eley, 18S3-87; S. F. Mc- 
Govney, 18S4-90; Elisha Pierce, 18S6-90; 
Samuel S. Selvey, 1886-88; J. Bransteter, 
1890-92; W. H. Harkins. 1892-94; R. K. 
Erwin, 1890-94; J. T. Kelley, 1S94-9S; J. 
P. McGeath, 1894-98; Henry Krick, 189S- 
1900; Henry Dirkson, 1900-04; J. W. 
Vizard, 1904-0S. 

State Senators. — Since Adams county has 
never been a separate senatorial district, but 
has been joined with the contiguous counties, 
most of its senators lived at the time of their 
election in adjoining counties. W. Rock- 
hill, 18-14; Franklin P. Randall, 1847; Sam- 
uel L. Rugg, 1S54; David Studabaker, 
1858; George Brau, 1862; Robert Huev, 
1865; Oc'-neg Byrd, 1868; James R. Bobo. 
1869 ; John D. Sarninghausen. 1 872 ; Myrom 

M. Gleason, 1882; Silas W. Hale. 1886; 
Harry B. Smith, 1890; Jesse M. LaFollette, 
1894; William C. Ryan, 189S; John W. 
Tyndall, 1904. 

County Superintendents. — The county su- 
perintendent law came into effect in 1873, 
and for the school examiners who preceded 
the county superintendents, as herein given, 
you are referred to "Early Schools and 
Tteachers," in this volume. Daniel D. Hel- 
ler was the last school examiner. An act of 
the legislature changed the examiners then 
in office to superintendents. D. D. Heller, 
1873-75, resigned; William M. Walters, 
1875-79; G. W. A. Luckey, 1879-83; J. F. 
Snow, 1883-97; Irviu Brandyberry, 1897- 
1906, resigned January 10; Lawrence Op- 
liger, 1906, January 15th. 


The present city of Decatur owes more 
credit and respectful notice to the memory of 
Samuel L. Rugg than it has ever made an 
effort to pay him. The day may come when 
his bronze statue will occupy a comer of the. 
public square. He was the founder of De- 
catur. Its early interests were his. He 
passed his early life here amid the privations 
of a backwoods village. Decatur in i860 
was not larger than the Pleasant Mills of to- 
day. Then Mr. Rugg left it never more to 
return as a resident. In 1854 he was elected 
to the state senate and his long and varied 
work in the management of county business 
well qualified him to suggest needed legis- 
lation in the many lines of town and county 
affairs. In 1858 he removed to Allen county 
and was soon elected superintendent of pub- 



lie instruction of Indiana and later moved 
tu the state capital. He was a man of fine 
bearing', great intelligence and was a natu- 
ral organizer, who was usually able to lead 
in the right direction toward public improve- 
ments. His early training was such as 
would encourage that trait in his disposition. 
His father died when he was a mere child. 
His parents lived in Waterville, New York, 
and had planned for him a college education, 
but now it was not a matter of choice, but of 
necessity that he assist in the care of the 
family. His mother, a widow with several 
children, needed his labor to help feed and 
clothe them. Employment was found for 
Samuel in the village blacksmith shop. Here 
he worked and developed that manhood that 
can't be understood when read from books. 
He became practical in his ideas and esti- 
mates of conditions. He met men, learned 
their ways and what was expected of him in 
business affairs. His employers were 
prompt and required promptness of their em- 
ployes, of which there were several besides 
himself. He in this manner learned that an 
hour in the morning is worth half the after- 
noon ih life. As he worked and studied 
business methods he learned the manage- 
ment of men in keeping accounts and time 
rolls, but with an aspiring disposition, he 
most desired that he might some day manage 
a business of his own. When about twenty 
years of age he joined the tide of emigration 
westward and came to Cincinnati and had 
no trouble in finding employment in a large 
cotton mill, at first in manufacturing 
thread, but his mechanical skill and his abil- 
ity to successfully direct the action of others 
soon placed him in the line of promotion. 
His wages were increased as he was pro- 
moted to shipping clerk and he steadily ad- 

vanced in the confidence of his employers, at 
the same time gaining for himself a vast 
amount of new business ideas. After five 
years' close attention to the duties of his po- 
sition he was married to an estimable young 
lady acquaintance. His life could not have 
been happier. A permanent position at good 
pay, excellent health, a cheerful compan- 
ion. In 183 1 a daughter came to add a 
charm to their cheerful home. Life's path- 
way seemed strewn with flowers. A clear, 
bright and hopeful future lay before him. 
His little child sickened and died. In a very 
few short months its mother followed her to 
the grave. This sad loss drove hope away ; 
turned his bright future to a barren desert. 
In his heart he wondered why life in him 
still lingered on. He resolved to leave the 
scenes of mental desolation and go away 
back to the borders of civilization. With that 
idea in mind he packed his small leather 
trunk with what few articles he wished to 
keep, took his chest of tools and went by 
canal to Piqua, Ohio, bought an ox team, 
made a stone boat of plank and started down 
the Piqua road to Fort Wayne, then the only 
town in this region. In the summer of 1S33 
he entered lands in what now is Adams 
county, a part of which subsequently be- 
came a part of Decatur. In Root township 
(Allen county then) a few years later he 
married Susan Ball, a daughter of one of 
the earliest residents. To them were born 
four children: J. Kirkland, DeWitt Clin- 
ton, Julius and Cornelia. These were a part 
of his family when in Decatur. This wife 
died in 1845 and in 1847 he married a third 
wife, Catherine Biggs, who 'lived but six 
years after her marriage. To them were 
born three children, only one of whom lived 
to maturity. Jay grew to manhood and be- 



came a soldier in the late rebellion. To the 
libera! hand of Samuel L. Rugg many or- 
ganizations and industries of Decatur owe a 
iasting remembrance. Through his untiring 
effort the old plank road from Fort Wayne 
to Saint Mary's left the straight and graded 
roadway up the Piqua line to pass through 
Decatur, then his new town. Before it came 
no business thrived or trade of any conse- 
quence left the Piqua road. In this enter- 
prise Mr. Rugg sank hundreds of dollars and 
was financially crippled from its results. He 
built the first steam saw mill in the county 
and furnished the lumber for a number of 
miles of the plank road in 1852-3 in order 
that it pass through Decatur. To four of 
the principal churches in Decatur he do- 
nated their church lots. Do they ever men- 
tion the name of Samuel L. Rugg? When 
Mr. Rugg entered these lands in 1833 and 
petitioned that a new township be made in 
Allen county he saw a future county. When 
in 1835 he petitioned the state legislature for 
a separate county he saw a prospective 
county seat on the lands he had entered. 
When bib county seat was established he saw 
an exercise of power, an action he more cov- 
eted than the money received in all his ofhee- 
holding or from the town lots sold. Yet 
that power was all for public good; not his 
own aggrandizement. He went to the sen- 
ate in 1854 and a more diligent member 
could not be found in the general assembly. 
Many of the state laws on town and county 
matters date from the fifties. It has been 
truly said that ofttimes the most thoroughly 

educated men are not the most practical in 
public service. It is equally true that many 
who have not enjoyed extensive school train- 
ing have executive ability in a high degree 
and are natural leaders of men. 

Mr. Rugg was a thorough business man, 
a skillful accountant, a man of legal knowl- 
edge and one who was not afraid to perform 
the duties required of him. When a state 
public officer his plans for the collection and 
distribution of the revenues for tuition show 
him to have been an economist of rare merit. 
Much of the interest on congressional funds 
had not been accounted for, and. he at once 
began legal proceedings against the delin- 
quent officers of the various counties and se- 
cured many thousands of dollars which 
rightfully were intended to educate the youth 
of the state. Here he again shows his desiie 
to control, not wealth, but what money will 
buy, the education of the country's children. 
After retiring from office he took up his res- 
idence at Huntsville, Alabama, and while 
visiting a son at Nashville, Tennessee, died 
a poor man at the age of sixty-five years and 
seven months, on the 28th of March, 1871. 
A marble monument in the old cemetery at 
Decatur, his old home, marks the last rest- 
ing place of one of the ablest and best of 
Adams county's citizens. 

What is written 
Shall remain; 
Ne'er be erased 
Or written o'er again. 



When the Hon. David Studabaker died it 
seemed that the death angel had entered 
every home in Adams county and an entire 
community mourned and \va^ plunged in 
gloom. The prominent and obscure; the 
rich and poor; the intimate friend and the 
casual acquaintance, felt that something had 
gone from their lives that might never be 
replaced. The business world of northeast- 
ern Indiana suffered an irreparable loss and 
the bar an accomplished advocate and a 
fearless and just judge. 

Judge Studabaker was born at Fort Re- 
covery, Ohio, August 12, 1S27. At eight 
years of age he was taken by his parents to 
Adams county and his father died when he 
was but thirteen. He was the eldest of his 
father's family and attended the first school 
taught in Wells county. This was a sub- 
scription school taught by an Irish school- 
master. The building was rough with 
puncheon floor. The windows were mere 
cut-outs, covered with greased paper, and 
the benches were hewed from logs and with- 
out backs. He studied in this nude school 
for some time and then spent one term in a 
high school near Greenville. Ohio. He also 
attended the Jay County Seminar}*, near 
Portland. He also taught in the schools 
of Wells and Adams counties and became 
an ardent scholar and a persistent one. 
About this time he decided to take up the 
study of law and to make the law his life 

profession. To this end he entered the of- 
fice of Judge Jerc Haines and soon mas- 
tered the technicalities of the study. He 
applied for admission to the Adams county 
courts and passed a creditable examination. 
He was admitted to practice and at once be- 
gan the work that made him famous and 
one of the most accomplished men in the 
profession in the state. 

Judge Studabaker was admitted to prac- 
tice in June. 1852, and for more than thirty 
years he was a leader of his profession. In 
the course of his practice he was associated 
with James R. Bobo and John P. Quinn, 
both of whom studied in his office, and both 
of whom arc dead. In the same year in 
which he began practicing' Judge Studabaker 
was elected prosecuting attorney of the dis- 
trict composed of Adams and Allen coun- 
ties. He served in this capacity for two 
years and was then chosen a representative 
to the state legislature from the former 
county. He served in the session of 1854 
and was re-elected for the session of 1856. 
His political service was admirable and en- 
tirely to the satisfaction of his constituents. 
In 1858 they again called upon Judge 
Studabaker to represent their interests in 
the state's lawmaking body and returned 
him to Indianapolis as the senator for the 
joint counties of Adams, Jay and Wells. 
He served in the upper house with distinc- 
tion, and after the close of the session re- 
turned to Decatur and resumed the prac- 
tice of his profession. He was elected judge 



of the common pleas court for the circuit 
coriiposed of Adams, Allen, Huntington and 
Wells Counties. Throughout his tenure of 
office as judge of this district he added much 
to his prestige as a member of his profes- 
sion. He proved himself a most excellent 
judge. His knowledge of the law was pro- 
found, and his administering of the ends of 
justice was tempered with moderation and 
•with consideration. The attorneys who 
practiced in his court found in him a man 
who was eminently fair and courteous and 
he filled the office to which he had been 
chosen with dignity and to his lasting 
credit. During his incumbency many im- 
portant cases came before him for adjudica- 
tion and in each case he displayed a wide 
range of learning and a keen desire to decide 
the issue with regard to the facts presented 
without prejudice. 

In addition to his arduous duties as judge 
and as a practicing attorney the busy brain 
of Judge Studabaker was concerned with 
many other tilings. He was engaged in 
many lines of business and was a prominent 
figure in ail movements that were destined 
to promote the commercial interests of De- 
catur and Adams county. He dealt exten- 
sively in real estate and owned much of it in 
various sections of the country-. He became 
the wealthiest citizen of his community and 
owned at his death large interests in pro- 
ducing oil property and bank stock. In 1869 
he was one of the promoters of the Fort 
Wayne & Richmond Railway that later be- 
came the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway 
and finally passed into the control of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. He was a member 
of the first board of directors of this road 
and retained this position until his death. 
He was a director in a number of banks — 

the Old Adams County Bank, of which he 
was a stockholder and cue of its founders, 
serving as vice president and later president 
when the bank became incorporated at a 
state bank ; the Bankers' National Bank, of 
Chicago ; the First National Bank, of Mar- 
ion, Indiana: the Bank of Geneva and the 
Bank of Berne, and the First National of 
Fort Wayne, and the Bank of Wren, Ohio. 

Judge Studabaker was twice married. His 
first marriage occurred October 26, 1854, 
when he was united to Miss Harriet Evans, 
a daughter of the Hon. John K. Evans, a 
prominent figure in the state's history. Mrs. 
Studabaker died June 7, 1891. One son of 
this marriage, John E. Studabaker, died 
May 2, 1S69. The surviving children are: 
Mary, wife of John Niblick, of Decatur; 
Airs. Lizzie Morrison, of Decatur; Miss 
Hattie Studabaker, of Decatur; Mrs. W. J. 
Yesey, of Fort Wayne, and David E. Studa- 
baker, of Decatur. Judge Studabaker was 
married for the second time in June, 1895, 
to Mrs. Jennie Phelps, who survives him. 

After a busy, useful and distinguished 
life, extending over the allotted span, Judge 
Studabaker died on the evening of Ma}- 3, 
1904. His death followed an illness of but 
two weeks' duration and was due to a com- 
plication of causes. He contracted a cold 
while visiting a farm he owned and he was 
stricken as the result. He was kept alive 
through the use of stimulants for several 
days and retained his consciousness until 
within a few hours of his death. With his 
passing Decatur and the entire northeastern 
section of the state suffered a distinct loss. 
M his loss was voiced feelingly in a comment 
appearing in the Decatur Democrat. It 

"In the death of judge David Studabaker 



a worthy and honored citizen has lived his 
allotted time and passed to the great beyond. 
During his long life, covering a period of 
three score years and ten, we look back upon 
a busy, useful and active career, in which he 
rose from a self-educated boy to a school 
teacher, then a law student, lawyer, judge, 
banker, and in later years has been as busy 
and as energetic in the control and manage- 
ment of his many and varied personal in- 
terests. All of these he managed and di- 
rected to the last days of his last illness, and 
he died honored and respected to the highest 
degree. Such a life is worthy of the ambi- 
tion that is rife in the mad rush of progress, 
and its simulation should be a high ideal 
among the youth who are striving to win 
laurels in the days and years to come. Judge 
Studabaker's public and private life is an 
open book, and upon its pages are written 
many good deeds of charity and encourage- 
ment. Public-spirited, kind and observant, 
his counsel and advice will be severely 
missed, but, thanks to the seed that has been 
sown, Judge Studabaker will live for many 
and many years to come." 

The funeral of Judge Studabaker was a 
most impressive function. It was partici- 
pated in by the entire city of Decatur. Dur- 
ing the hours when the cortege wound its 
way through the city streets and services 
were held at the church, the home and the 
grave, all business in Decatur was suspend- 
ed. Representatives of the banks of Fort 
Wayne, Chicago, Bluffton, Huntington. 
Geneva, Berne and other places in which 
Judge Studabaker had interests, were pres- 
ent and many other interests paid last and 
touching tributes. For two days the body 
of the :;ged jurist laid in state at his home 
surrounded bv manv beautiful emblems and 

crowds viewed it. Intimate friends and 
strangers, rich and poor, gazed on the feat- 
ures of a dead friend and sympathetic coun- 
selor. The services were conducted by the 
Rev. W. H. Daniel, assisted by the Rev. W. 
E. McCarty. A choir of twenty voices ren- 
dered favorite hymns of Judge Studabaker 
and the services were concluded by the sol- 
emn rites of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows. The funeral procession was over 
a mile in length and was headed by the Odd 
Fellows and the members of the Adams 
County Bar Association. The pall-bearers 
were: Judge James T. Merryman, T. H. 
Ernst, J. H. Stone, A. Van Camp, Henry 
Hite, M. F. Rice, John S. Falk and R. D. 
Patterson. The honorary- pall-bearers were : 
George Pixley and B. W. Pixley, of Fort 
Wayne; Dr. Reasoner, president of the First 
National Bank of Marion, Indiana; Judge 
Dailey, of Bluffton; Judge O'Rourke, of 
Fort Wayne ; R. B. Allison, of Decatur, and 
Judge D. D. Heller and Judge R. K. Erwin, 
of Decatur. Resolutions of regret and sym- 
pathy were passed by the Decatur Commer- 
cial Club and by the Fort Wayne Trust 
Company at a meeting of the board of di- 
rectors of these institutions. 


Lew G. Ellingham, editor and publisher 
of the Daily and Weekly Democrat, at De- 
catur, is comparatively a young man, but has 
had much experience in his line. His parents 
were Charles and Hannah (Scotton) El- 
lingham. natives of England, who came to 
America in early lite. They were married 
at Huntington, Indiana, and settled on a 



tract of land in Wells county, which they 
improved and added thereto until the farm 
comprised more than two hundred acres. 
When they were well advanced in years and 
had accumulated a competency they retired 
and spent their remaining years as resi- 
dents of Bluiiton, Indiana. They were the 
parents of seven children, of whom six are 
still living. 

The subject of this sketch was educated 
in the schools at Bluff ton, whither the fam- 
ily removed when he was six years old. 
When a boy he worked in the office of the 
Bluffton Banner. At the age of nineteen he 
purcbased the Geneva Herald and during 
the four years he published the same he had 
many valuable experiences which proved 
profitable. In 1891 he sold the Herald and 
purchased the Winchester Democrat, which 
lie conducted for three years. Subsequently 
■disposing of this, he removed to Decatur 
■and formed a stock company which founded 
the Decatur Democratic Press, of which Mr. 
Ellingham was editor. Shortly after found- 
ing this paper the company purchased the 
subscription list and good will of the Demo- 
I cratic World and in August, 1896, purchased 
the Decatur Democrat, thus consolidating 
tiie home papers and publishing the same 
under the name of the Decatur Democrat. 
In July, 1897, the subject of this 
sketch purchased the entire stock 
of the company and became sole 
proprietor. In January, 1903, he founded 
the Daily Democrat, which was the second 
daily published in Adams county. In July, 
1906, he purchased the daily edition of the 
Decatur Journal and consolidated it with the 
Daily Democrat, which is now the only 
•daily paper published in Adams county. It 
is a seven-column, four-page paper and has 
a circulation of more than three thousand. 

The weekly edition is a six-column, eight- 
page paper and has a larger circulation than 
that of any of its competitors. These papers 
are staunch supporters of the Democratic 
party, and Mr. Ellingham devotes his en- 
tire time and attention to the publication of 

On January 2, 1895, Mr. Ellingham mar- 
ried Miss Nellie Miller, the daughter of 
Colonel M. B. Miller, of Winchester, and 
they are the parents of two children — Win- 
nifred and Miller. Mr. and Mrs. Ellingham 
are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. Fraternally Mr. Ellingham belong? 
to the Masons, Knights of Pythias and Be- 
nevolent Protective Order of Elks. 


Adam J Bienz, who owns one hundred 
acres of choice land in section 8, in Union 
township, Adams county, Indiana, which he 
maintains at the highest standard of excel- 
lence, is a native of Willshire township, Van 
Wert county, Ohio, where he was born on 
October 26, 1859. His parents were Jacob 
and Elizabeth (Pfleger) Bienz, the father a 
native of Germany, and the mother of Ohio. 
They are still residents of Van Wert county 
and are the parents of eight children : Louis, 
Margaret, George, Adam J., Frederick, 
Mary, Anna and Emma. 

The subject of this sketch, who was the 
fourth child in order of birth, was reared on 
his father's farm in Ohio, where he made 
his home until his marriage, after which he 
worked on his father's farm on the shares 
for three years. At the age of eighteen he 
commenced to learn the carpenter's trade, 
which he followed for several years. Car- 



'.entering and fanning have been his princi- 
pal occupations throughout life. Eventually, 
in 1S92, he moved from Van Wert county, 
Ohio, to Adams county, Indiana, and lo- 
cated on the farm which he now occupies. 
"He has erected a number of neat and sub- 
stantial buildings and has otherwise im- 
proved the place so that it is now considered 
one of the choice farms of the locality. Mr. 
Bienz has been married three times. His 
first wife was Pauline German, by whom he 
had one child, Minnie. This wife died in 
YVillshire township, Van Wert county, 
Ohio, at the age of twenty-seven, and Mr. 
Bienz subsequently married Christina Reink- 
liug. the daughter of Ferdinand Reinkling. 
To this marriage was also born one child, 
Paula. Mrs. Christina Bienz died at the age 
of thirty-one, and on May 14, 1900, Mr. 
Bienz married Miss Matilda Bleeke, 
a native of Union township, who 
was born on May 29, 1874, and was the 
daughter of Christian and Mary. 
(Rupp) Bleeke. Her parents are both now 
deceased, the father dying at the age of sev- 
enty-eight and the mother at sixty-five 
years old. They were the parents of ten 
children, of whom Mrs. Bienz was the ninth 
child in order of birth. To the subject and 
his wife have been born three children: Er- 
win C. F., Amalie A. E., and Martin 
G. The entire family are members of the 
Emanual Lutheran church. 

most productive and valuable in the local- 
ity, was born in Preble township, Adams 
county, on July 21, 1855. His parents were 
Conrad and Mary ( Christ ianer) Reinking 
and of their nine children the subject was 
fourth in order of birth. 

He was reared in Preble township and re- 
mained under the parental roof until attain- 
ing majority, shortly after which he located 
on the farm where he now resides. It com- 
prises eighty acres of -choice land, seventy 
acres of which are under the plow and 
which are devoted to all crops common to 
this locality. He has erected substantial 
buildings and the place is well improved 

On April 21, 1878, Mr. Reinking mar- 
ried Miss Louise Bleeke, who was born in 
Union township on March 4, 1S58, 
the daughter of Frederick and Mary (BieveJ- 
heimer) Bleeke, and to this union were born 
eight children : Gustav C. F., Alvine M. 
L., the wife of Henry Eix; Lizzie C. M., 
the wife of Edward Lahnnan; Edwin W. 
PL, Reinhard IL, George E., Blandine C, 
Hugo M. Mr. and Mrs. Reinking are mem- 
bers of the Fmanuel Lutheran church and 
take an active interest in the official and so- 
cial organisations connected with that 


Philip L. Andrews, editor and business 

manager of the Decatur Journal, is a native 
WILLIAM F. REINKING. of this county, having been born on Decem- 

ber i6 r J859. and is the ^oi\ of Robert N. 
William F. Reinking, whose farm of and Sophia (Bolinger) Andrews. Mr. An- 
eighty acres in section 17. in Union town- drews was reared on the paternal farmstead 
ship, Adams county, Indiana, is among the and attended the common schools of Adams 



county. He subsequently supplemented this 
.schooling by attendance at Lebanon, Ohio, 
and Portland, Indiana, and during the fol- 
lowing ten years was engaged in school 
teaching. He read law and was admitted to 
the bar, but finding this calling not to his 
liking, he withdrew from the profes- 
sion after about two years, and 
in 1897 he was appointed postmas- 
ter at Decatur under President McKin- 
ley, which position he filled satisfactorily for 
Tour years and six months. He went to 
Missouri at the expiration of his term and 
engaged there in the manufacture of staves 
and shingles. Subsequently he returned to 
Decatur and has since been identified with 
journalism in the capacity of editor and 
business manager of the Decatur Journal. 
This paper, which was founded in 1S76, is 
an eight-page, seven-column weekly and has 
been the only paper advocating and support- 
ing the Republican party in Adams county. 
It enjoys a wide circulation and contains all 
the current events. Mr. Andrews has al- 
ways been an active member of the Repub- 
lican party and takes a deep interest in the 
general welfare of the community. 

On April 8, 1905, he married Miss Laura 
Marker, who died very suddenly on the 21st 
of October. 1906. Fraternally Mr. An- 
drews is a Mason, being a past master of 
Decatur Lodge, No. 751, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons, and past high priest of 
Decatur Chapter, No. 112, Royal Arch 


William P. Barkley, one of the successful 
farmers of Union township, Adams county, 

Indiana, is a native Hoosier, having been 
born in the township where he now resides 
on the 2d day of February, 1870. He is the 
son of Elias and Mary (Clam) Barkley, re- 
spected and honored early settlers of Union 
township, the father now deceased, having 
died in his seventy-second year. The mother 
is living in Allen county. They were the 
parents of seven children, five sons and two 
daughters, of whom the subject of this 
sketch was fifth in order of birth. 

He received his education in the common 
schools of Union township and has always 
applied himself to agricultural pursuits, in 
which he has been successful to a satisfac- 
tory degree He is the owner of sixty acres 
of as good land as can be found in the town- 
ship and takes pride in the calling to which 
he has applied himself. His farm is adorned 
with a number of neat and substantial 
buildings and the place is characterized by 
well-kept fences, up-to-date agricultural im- 
plements and other evidences which indicate 
the owner to be a man of good judgment 
and splendid ideas. Mr. Barkley is a 
staunch and enthusiastic Democrat in poli- 
tics and has always taken a deep interest in 
the welfare of his township, and has held the 
office of constable. With his wife Mr. Bark- 
ley is affiliated with the United Brethren 

In Van Wert county, Ohio, on Septem- 
ber 2, 1893, Mr. Barkley married Miss Ocie 
Miller, a native of that county, a daughter 
of William and Margaret Miller. They are 
the parents of two children : Ransom E. 
and Alonzo F. Mr. Barkley has endeav- 
ored to so live as to merit the respect of his 
fellow citizens and iias at all times been con- 
sidered among the leading' representatives of 
his township. 




Edward C. Bleeke, who owns a fine farm 
of -one hundred and sixty acres of land in 
Union township, this county, and who is 
jriFtiy numbered among" the respected agri- 
culturists of his locality, was born in the 
township where he now resides on the 5th 
of November, 1S63. His parents were 
Frederick and Mary (Bevelheimer) Bleeke, 
the former of whom was born in Prussia 
and the latter in Pennsylvania. Coming to 
America al the age of ten years, Frederick 
Bleeke and his wife located in Adams 
county, where they were numbered among 
the early settlers, and here they 
remained until their deaths, he dying in his 
seventy-eighth year and she in her fifty- 
seventh. Their ten children were named as 
follows: William F. ; Louisa, the wife of 
William F. Reinking; Caroline, the wife of 
John A. Ehrman ; Christine, the wife of 
Henry Bischcfi; Edward C. ; Helena, the 
wife of Frank Lankeuau; Mary, the wife of 
George Runge ; Sophia, the wife of Herman 
Jaebker; Ferdinand, and a daughter, who 
died in infancy. 

The subject of this sketch was reared Un- 
der the parental roof and was early inured 
to the toil and hardships incident to farm 
life. He gained a fair education in the pub- 
He schools and has been a close observer and 
wide reader throughout his life, so that to- 
day he is considered among the well read 
and intelligent men of his community, 
harming has been his chief occupation and 
in this he has been eminently successful. He 
1? the owner of one hundred and sixty acres 
of the old homestead farm, on which has 
been erected a number of good buildings, 
and he has conducted the place in such a 

manner as to bring it to a high standard of 
agricultural excellence. 

In Union township, on October 6, 188S, 
Mr. Bleeke married Miss Pauline Thieme, 
who was born in Union township, the daugh- 
ter of Godfrey and Amallca Thieme. To 
this union have been born six children: 
Herbert, Reinhold, who died at the age of 
four years; Ella, Edna, Victor and Herhold. 
This family are faithful and active members 
of the Emanuel Lutheran church and com- 
mand the uniform respect of all with whom 
they come in contact. 


William Schamerloh, a respected and pro- 
gressive citizen of Union township. Adams 
county, Indiana, was born in the township 
in which he lives on September 19, 1859, 
and was reared on the parental farmstead. 
He has always resided in this township and 
has merited the high position which he holds 
among his fellow citizens. He is the son of 
Christian and Caroline (Kruckeberger) 

William Schamerloh was educated in the 
German and public schools of his native 
township and remained at home until his 
marriage, April 12, 1885, when he engaged 
in farming for himself, and has been so en- 
gaged during the subsequent years. His 
place is well improved, contains one hun- 
dred and twenty acres and is considered 
among the choice farms of the township. 

On April 12. 18S5, he married Miss 
Anna Bienz, who was born in \\ dlshire 
township. Van Wert county. Ohio, on March 
20, 1866. To this union have been born 



ihrec children : Adolph C. J., Adelia E. A. 
and one- who died in infancy. Mr. Schamer- 
loh has taken an active interest in local pub- 
lic' affairs and was a member of the Union 
township band for twelve years. He and 
his family are members of the Emanual 
Lutheran church, in which organizatii >n he 
holds important offices. Mr. Schamerioh is 
a Democrat in politics. 


Joseph S. Lower is a native of Tusca- 
rawas county, Ohio, and was born October 
2, 1843. He is a son of William and Cath- 
erine (Munia) Lower. Both of his parents 
were born in Virginia. William Lower was 
born in Brook county, Virginia, in 1814. 
His father was Samuel Lower, who moved 
to Ohio and settled in Defiance, where he 
died. William Lower came to Indiana and 
settled in Adams county in 1852. He 
brought his wife and family with him and 
purchased land in Union township. He was 
an earnest member of the United Brethren 
church and in 1S70 was ordained and li- 
censed a preacher of this denomination. He 
continued to farm and preach until his death. 
He was a fine example of a Christian man 
and was an eloquent preacher. He and his 
wife became the parents of the following 
eight children : Esther Ann, Catherine, 
Martha, Joseph, William, Ammistee, Mar- 
garet, Joshua, John W. and Sylvester, both 
of the latter being ministers of the gospel. 
Another child, the third in order of birth, 
died in infancy. William Lower died Sep- 
tember 10, 1877, and his wife survived until 
1899. He was a Republican in politics. 

The youthful Joseph Lower was but a 
small child when he accompanied his parents 
from Ohio to Indiana. He was educated in 
the common schools of his neighborhood 
and among the wholesome influences of his 
father's home. He lived on the home farm 
until he became of age. By this time he had 
saved some of the money he had earned, and 
with this money he purchased a farm in 
Union township. He continued to live on 
this farm with the members of his own fam- 
ily until 1887, when he sold his land and pur- 
chased a farm in Root township, on which 
he is still residing. 

The marriage of Joseph Lower and Miss 
Rebecca Jane Congelton w r as solemnized in 
Root township in 1S67. Mrs. Lower is a 
daughter of Daniel and Anna (Nelson) 
Congelton, and was born in Adams county. 
Her parents came to Indiana and settled in 
Adams county in 1848 and purchased land. 
Her father died in 1854 and his wife in 
1892. They were the parents of the follow- 
ing children : David, Rachael, Theodore, 
Jane, Elizabeth, Perry, Hiram, Rebecca, 
Winfield, Mary, Emily and Margaret. Mr. 
and Mrs. Joseph Lower are the parents of 
three children : Nora A., the wife of Fred- 
erick Linn ; William, who married Dora 
Peterson, and Homer D., who married Ada 

Mr. Lower is counted among the strong 
and substantial men of his township. He is 
in eveiy sense of the term a good citizen and 
is prominent in all movements that have for 
their object the betterment of the condition 
of the county and the increase of its pros- 
perity. He is a modem farmer and culti- 
vates his fine tract of one hundred and sixty 
acres, and he has improved it until it has 
become one of the mos: attractive, most val- 



tnible and productive farms in the entire 
township. He is a Republican so far as his 
political affiliations are concerned, but al- 
though a consistent member of this political 
party and an earnest worker for its victories, 
he has never aspired to public office. Like 
his father before him, he is an earnest Chris- 
tian, and with his wife and the members of 
his family, is a supporter of the United 
Brethren church. He is a trustee of the 
church of this denomination in his neighbor- 
hood. He is everywhere respected and his 
advice and counsel are frequently sought on 
matters of the greatest importance. Mr. 
Lower and Miss Congelton were married by 
Rev. J. W. Wagoner. 


John Hendricks, who formerly was a 
successful farmer on section 3, Monroe 
township, but who is now living in the town 
of Monroe, Monroe township, was born in 
Tuscarawas county, Ohio, Tune 24, 1S39. 
He is a son of Thomas and Lydda Hen- 
dricks. Thomas Hendricks was born in 
Harrison county, Ohio, on November 22, 
181 1, and Lydda Hendricks was born in the 
state of Maryland on October 12, 181 2, and 
came with her parents to Ohio, when six 
years of age. Thomas and Lydda Hen- 
dricks were married in July, 1834. The 
subject's maternal grandfather, John 
Renecker, was born in Maryland, 
near the city of Baltimore, April 
'4. 1788, while his wife, Mar,', 
was born in Maryland, April 9, 1790. They 
« ere among the early settlers of Ohio. The 
paternal grandfather was a native of Penn- 
3 5 

sylvania, born December 22, 1779, and his 
wife was born June 26, 1784. Thomas Hen- 
dricks died January 13, 1883, at the age of 
seventy-one years, and his wife on March 2, 
1895, at the age of eighty-two. They were 
the parents of seven children, three boys and 
four girls, of whom the boys and one girl 
grew to maturity. 

When the subject was nine years of age 
he accompanied his parents from Ohio to 
Van Buren county, Iowa, where they re- 
mained nearly five years, returning in the 
spring of 1853 ro Henry county, Ohio. The 
young lad gained a great deal of pleasure 
from these trips, the return trip from Iowa 
being made largely by water by way of the 
Ohio to Cincinnati, and thence by canal 
from Delphus to Florida, Henry county, 
Ohio. After a short sojourn in that locality 
the family came by way of canal to Fort 
Wayne, Indiana. Subsequently the family 
located in Adams county, which at that time 
was but slightly improved, dense forests and 
swamps covering nearly all of the territory 
embraced within the present county lines. 
They located about one mile south and a 
quarter of a mile east of what was called 
Monroe, though it was but a dense wilder- 
ness. Here the family resided for a period 
of almost thirty-four years. The subject re- 
mained at home until attaining his majority 
and in the fall of i860 went to Ottawa 
county, Ohio, where he obtained employ- 
ment in a saw mill until the 
following spring, when he returned 
home, and during the following 
summer was employed on the farm. 
In the spring of 1S62 he took employment 
at the carpenter's trade, but on Auguth 9th 
of that year, upon the outbreak of the war 
of the Rebellion, he enlisted in Company H, 



Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry, in which he 
served during that terrible conflict, being 
engaged in all of the battles, skirmishes and 
marches in which his regiment participated. 
Among the most important of these may be 
mentioned Munfordville, Kentucky; Sher- 
man's .March to the Sea ; Pleasant Hill, Lou- 
isiana; Bayou Lamare, Yellow Bayou, Tu- 
pelo, Mississippi; Nashville, Tennessee; 
Siege of Mobile, and the seven-hundred- 
mile march through Missouri, when Mr. 
Hendricks traveled with his regiment on 
foot two thousand three hundred and sixty- 
three miles, by steamer seven thousand one 
hundred and thirty-two miles and by rail 
one thousand two hundred and twelve miles. 
On August S, 1865, Mr. Hendricks re- 
ceived an honorable discharge and returned 
to Adams county. From 1866 to 1896 Mr. 
Hendricks engaged in the cultivation of the 
soil on the old home farm, his original pos- 
session of eighty acres having been aug- 
mented by a subsequent purchase of thirty- 
five acres. Since 1896 Mr. Hendricks has, 
as stated at the opening of this sketch, re- 
sided in Monroe, where in peace and com- 
fort he is spending the declining years of his 
life, rich in the regard and esteem of those 
who know him. 

On August 19, 1866, Mr Hendricks mar- 
ried Miss Margaret E. Ray, who was born 
in Harrison county, Ohio, on July 7, 1845, 
a daughter of George W. and Eleanor Ray. 
These parents came to Adams county, In- 
diana, in 1848 and with the exception of 
three years spent in Ottawa county, Ohio, 
lived here during the remainder of their 
lives, the father dying in November, i860. 
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks have been 
born four children : Levi N., James V., 
George A. and William A., all of whom at- 

tained maturity and married. Levi M. died 
in August, 1902, at the age of thirty-five, 
leaving a wife and three children; James V. 
and George A. are living on the old home 
farm and William A. is engaged as a clerk 
in a general store in Monroe. 

In January, 1896, Mr. Hendricks made a 
trip over the scenes of the old conflict in the 
southland, passing over many of the identi- 
cal roads where as a boy in blue he endured 
the hardships and privations of the march in 
defense of Old Glory, his route being be- 
tween Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Ken- 
tucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Montgomery, 
Alabama; Americus, Georgia; Fitzgerald, 
Georgia; Macon, Georgia; Atlanta, Geor- 
gia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lookout 
Mountain, Mission Ridge and Chickamauga. 
Two years later, in 1898, Mr. Hendricks 
went to Richmond, Virginia, to take a look 
at the old historic battle fields of that region. 
He attended several national encampments 
of the Grand Army of the Republic, includ- 
ing the ones at Indianapolis, Louisville and 
Cincinnati. Mr. Hendricks has taken an ac- 
tive personal interest in the welfare of his 
community and served as one of the commit- 
tee which established the boundary line of 
the town of Monroe prior to its corporation, 
and also served as inspector at the first elec- 
tion held by that town in February, 1904. 
He also had the distinction, in 1905, of put- 
ting down the first cement sidewalk in the 
town, and since that year has continuously 
served as a member of the town council, and 
is now serving as president of the board. 
He is a member of Sam Henry Post, No. 63, 
Grand Army of the Republic, at Decatur, 
Indiana, and in politics is a Democrat. Re- 
ligiously he and his wife are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. 




Eli W. Johnson, who is now successfully 
conducting a general store in Monroe, is a 
native of the Hoosier state, having been 
born in the same locality in which he now 
resides, on December 19, 1879. He is a 
son of Joseph P. and Emily (Walton) John- 
ton, the former of whom was a native of 
Ohio, coming to Indiana in an early day. 
They were the parents of six children : 
R. O., Lena, Eli W., subject of this sketch; 
Sylvester, Chester and Arden, all of whom 
are now living except the last named. The 
father of these children is still living at Mon- 
roe, having spent practically his entire life at 
farming, though in recent years he has en- 
gaged in the timber business, buying and 
selling vast quantities of this product. He 
is the owner of a splendid farm of one hun- 
dred and twenty acres in this county and is 
considered one of the leading and most pro- 
gressive citizens of the county. 

The subject of this sketch after attaining 
mature years spent three or four years in the 
southwestern states, principally Arizona and 
Old Mexico, where he was engaged in va- 
rious employments. On returning to his na- 
tive locality he established his present busi- 
ness, that of a general store, in which he has 
been successfully engaged ever since. He 
carries a large and complete line of all the 
commodities ordinarily carried in a store of 
this character and his dealings are character- 
ized by the strictest, integrity, commanding 
•it all times the absolute confidence of all 
who have dealings with him. He is public- 
spirited and a deep thinker and exerts his 
influence in favor of all those things which 
go to the upbuilding of his community. He 
•8 also interested in other enterprises, own- 

ing stock in a creamery and the bank at 
Monroe. Fraternally he is a member of the 
Modern Woodmen of America, No. 6840, 
of which he is now serving as clerk, and of 
Decatur Lodge, No. 15, Knights of Pythias. 
In politics he is a Republican. 

The subject was united in marriage in 
April, 1907, to Miss Sadie Weldy, a native 
of Adams county, daughter of Christ Wel- 
dy, a retired farmer of Decatur. 


The subject of this sketch is a native 
of Adams county, having first seen 
daylight on February 20, 1869, and there- 
fore is yet in the prime of life. His father, 
William F. Fulk, is a native of Trumbull 
county, Ohio, and prior to his coming to this 
county was a prominent member of the con- 
structional force of the Atlantic & Great 
Western Railroad (now a part of the Erie 
system), this capacity he creditably filled 
for several years, or until 1865, when he 
resigned, came west and bought the 
two-hundred-and-forty-acre farm which at 
this time is one of the finest in this 
county. Soon after coming here he met 
Miss Emma Sovine, a native of Adams 
county. They were married soon after and 
to this union were born six children. Three 
of whom still survive, as follows: William 
E. and John H., of Bluffton, Indiana, and 
Louis P., the youngest, who is a prominent 
drug clerk, employed with the drug firm of 
Smith, Yager & Fulk at Decatur. Indiana. 

William E., the eldest, is familiar with 
the details and general management required 
in making a good farm out of a dense for- 



est. Two brothers and a sister next to him 
died in infancy, therefore the bulk of the la- 
bor around the home and on the farm fell 
to him, and thus he did not have many of the 
opportunities of the boys of today. But all 
of this did not get the best of him, as he 
made good use of his time in various ways, 
which in later years have been a great credit 
to him. He mastered the common school 
course and on April 23, 1SS9, graduated, 
capturing" the first prize awarded by John F. 
Snow, the county superintendent of public 
instruction. After which he successfully 
taught six terms in the public schools in one 
room at No. 6, Kirkland township, this 
county. He had a native talent for mechan- 
ics and under the careful instructon of his 
father, who was an able mechanic, he became 
not only a workman of ability, but also a 
first-class designer. At the close of the last 
term 01 school taught by him he w 7 as asked 
to become an aspirant for county surveyor. 
This he reluctantly consented to after much 
persuasion, and as a result of his efforts was 
elected and assumed the duties of this office 
on November 12, 1894, and became his own 
successor in 1896 and 1S98 without opposi- 

To him the residents of Adams county 
can well feel proud for the advanced values 
of their realty, and especially the farmer, 
since by careful engineering and push he 
succeeded in having constructed the Decatur 
and Bluffton macadam road, which is said 
to be not only the first, but one of the best 
macadam roads in northeastern Indiana. 

Prior to 1S94 there had been an attempt 
to improve the highway in Adams county 
by using gravel as an improved surfacing 
material, but after a few years of trials and 
enormous costs incurred by continual repair- 

ing Mr. Fulk decided to make or attempt a 
radical departure in the subject of improv- 
ing the highway with crushed stone or 
macadam. With various authors or their 
works in his library, and in contact with va- 
rious United States Government officials at 
Washington, D. C, he set to work to create 
an improvement in the highways of Adams 
county. The results were so highly satis- 
factory that before the close of his official 
career he had over a quarter of a million dol- 
lars of the people's money invested in ma- 
cadam roads, and as a further sanction of 
his efforts in improving the highways of the 
county as begun by him is evidenced by the 
fact that the county commissioners are con- 
tinually loaded with petitions for macadam 
roads. Another vital interest that was pro- 
jected by him during his career as county sur- 
veyor and which has placed greater values 
on farms located in the county was the con- 
version of open public or located drains into 
tile drains of large capacity, thereby remov- 
ing an unsightly scar from farms, adding to 
their value many bushels of grain, and 
removing all the serious inconveniences at- 
tending the presence of an open ditch. His 
ability and knowledge of public improve- 
ments were honorably recognized by state 
and national officials, so much so that he has 
been commissioned by three ex-governors of 
the state of Indiana on request of the direct- 
or of the bureau of highway and irrigation 
at Washington, D. C, to attend the sessions 
of the National Road and Irrigation Con- 
gress in various large cities of the union. 

On December 11, 1900, Mr. Fulk was ad- 
mitted to the bar as a person able to follow 
the profession of a lawyer. The Hon. D. D. 
Heller, then judge of the Adams circuit 
court, presided. He also acted in the capac:- 



tv of city civil engineer for some time and 
on July 5, 1903. accepted the official capacity 
.is superintendent of the water works at De- 
catur, Indiana, which position he 
still occupies. This office he hesi- 
*tated to assume on account of 
the financial emharrassment of the 
plant, which was sadly crippled by bad man- 
agement in some way or another, but on as- 
suming the management of the same with 
a debt of several thousand dollars, by care- 
ful attention to business he has again placed 
the water works plant on a profitable basis. 
On December 23, 1894, the subject of this 
sketch joined fortune with Miss Lydia E. 
Ashbaucher, third daughter of Christian and 
Malena Ashbaucher, residents of French 
township, Adams county, Indiana. To this 
union were born six children : Hubert C, 
deceased by an accident; Mary Irene, Ray- 
mond A., Christena A., Mabel E. and Carl 
\V. He has always moved in the capacity 
of a public-spirited citizen, always in line for 
public improvements, bringing values to the 
highest marketable price so far as the gen- 
eral public is connected with progressive 
measures of a legitimate purpose. In poli- 
tics he has always espoused the Democratic 
faith and has always remained faithful to 
the trust conferred upon him, being at all 
times a hard worker for the improvement of 
public conditions. 


Among the earliest of the pioneers 
who came to Adams county when the 
country was the wik'.est sort of a wilder- 
ness, when the nearest trading post was 

at Fort Wayne, and Indians and wild beasts 
contested the ownership of the land with the 
white men, was Lewis Andrews, father of 
the subject of this sketch. The elder An- 
drews came to Adams county in 1837 and 
located in Washington township. The trip 
was made from the east to Indiana by 
wagons, and the pioneer walked every step 
of the way. At the time of the arrival of 
the Andrews family in Adams county the 
land was in a primitive state. Dense woods 
covered almost ever}' portion and the work 
of clearing a farm was one of the most ardu- 
ous that had to be performed. But the in- 
domitable spirit of the pioneer was not 
easily crushed, and in time the farm was 
cleared of its timber and a permanent home 
established. After years of labor Lewis An- 
drews found himself in possession of a fine 
estate, well cleared and improved and a fine 
heritage for the children that had been born 
to himself and his estimable wife. These 
children were nine in number and six are 
still living. Those living are: Martha, H. 
J., Hattie, James W., Addie and O. P. 

H. J. Andrews was the fourth in point 
of birth of this interesting family. lie spent 
his boyhood on his father's farm, and when 
he became old enough to take an active part 
in the operation of the farm he contrib- 
uted to the work of clearing the broad acres 
and in improving the estate. His birth oc- 
curred March 17, 1866, and until a few 
years ago he lived on his parents' farm. He 
secured a more than ordinarily good educa- 
tion in the schools of his township and under 
the direction of his father learned the lessons 
that usually come to a farmer's son. In time 
he became a skillful farmer, possessing a 
keen appreciation of the value of modern 
methods and equipment. Some time after 



the death of his father the old farm was 
sold and the family moved to Monroe, Mon- 
roe township, Adams county. For a time 
the subject continued in the business of 
farming and in 1902 established a livery 
business in Monroe. This business he has 
built up until it is successful and on a fine 
paying basis. 

Mr. Andrews never married and lives with 
his aged mother in a pleasant home in Mon- 
roe. He, like his father before him, is a Re- 
publican in politics, but does not take an 
active part in party affairs. He has never 
been a candidate for official preferment. His 
mother is a member of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 


It is doubtful that any representa- 
tive of the younger portion of the 
present generation living in Adams county 
has gained more distinction of a desirable 
quality or has to a greater extent the entire 
esteem of his fellows than Fred Rohrer, the 
editor and publisher of the Berne Witness. 
As a citizen he has and does take an active 
interest in municipal and county affairs and 
as a man he lives to a very high standard. 
He is a patron of education and a firm be- 
liever in the principle of doing things 
heartily that will advance the commercial 
prosperity and the intellectual development 
of his community. He is one of the best- 
known newspaper men of northeast- 
ern Indiana and his paper wields 
a strong influence in shaping the 
policies of the district it covers. 
The success as a business venture with which 

this paper has met and its prestige as a me- 
dium for the circulation of news and pro- 
found editorial thought are due in large 
measure to the energy, ability and fearless- 
ness of its owner. 

Fred Rohrer is a native of the Swjss re- 
public. He was born near Berne, the capi- 
tal of the republic, December 9, 1S67. He 
is the second in point of birth of a family of 
fourteen children. He is a son of John 
Christian and Rosina Rohrer, both of whom 
are still living at Berne, in Adams county. 
His paternal grandfather was a weaver of 
linens in Switzerland and spent all of his 
life in that country. April 26, 1883, the fam- 
ily of John Christian Rohrer, consisting of 
his wife and six children, left their homes in 
the little Alpine republic and started for the 
larger republic on the west side of the At- 
lantic ocean. The journey was made with- 
out incident, and the family landed in safety 
at New York, May 9, 1S83. They pushed 
westward and settled in Wayne county, 
Ohio, where they remained for two years. 
At the conclusion of this period the eider 
Rohrer decided to move to Indiana and ac- 
cordingly he came to Adams county with 
his wife and four of his children. Two 
brothers, Fred and Ernest, remained a year 
longer in Wayne county-, working for farm- 
ers on the Sonnenberg. They finally came 
to Adams county and settled with their par- 
ents April 2, 1886. 

The early youth of Fred Rohrer was spent 
in Switzerland. When he was about three 
years of age his parents moved to the city 
of Berne. Fred attended the primary 
schools of Berne and when thirteen years of 
age passed the examination for admission to 
the school that corresponds here to a high 
school. He pursued the course in this insti- 



union and the last two years of his attend- 
ance took special work in the gymnasium 
and swimming school, anticipating entering 
the "pontoniers," a division of the Swiss 
army, after his graduation. He hecame a 
-very skillful swimmer and on two occa- 
sions won the third and the second prizes 
offered for contestants in public swimming 

After coming to his father's home in 
Adams county he supplemented his excellent 
preliminary education by a thorough four- 
years' course at the Tri-State Normal Col- 
lege at Angola, Indiana. His career at this 
institution was marked by academic suc- 
cesses. He was an earnest student and ap- 
plied himself with energy and intelligence. 
He completed the scientific course at the nor- 
mal college and in addition specialized in the 
fine arts, commercial department, shorthand 
and vocal and instrumental music. He was 
graduated "cum laude" with the class of '96 
and left the institution with the best wishes 
of his professors and with high estimates for 
his future success. As the result of his final 
examination and all class work in the com- 
mercial department he received an average 
of 99 1-6 per cent., the second highest ever 
received at that school up to that time. The 
highest recorded was 99 J/2 per cent. 

However, study was not the one incident 
of Fred Rohrer's early days in Adams 
county. He worked on a farm in this county 
for some months after he arrived and also 
clerked in the store of Allison, Morrow & 
Co. for eight months. Following this em- 
ployment he worked some years for Sprung- 
er, Lehman & Co. before he went to the nor- 
mal college at Angola. There was one in- 
terruption to the school career of Mr. Roh- 
rer. After he had been a student at An- 

gola for two years he was persuaded by the 
Rev. John A. Sprunger to go to Chicago and 
engage in missionary work. He went to 
Chicago and attended the Moody Bible In- 
stitute until the spring of 1893. At this time 
Mr. Rohrer, in connection with the Rev. 
John Sprunger, Mrs. Sprunger, Miss Mary 
Gerber and Miss Katie Moser, founded the 
"Light and Hope Missionary Society." This 
society established a hospital, deaconess 
home and a rescue home at the intersection 
of Harrison and May streets. An orphanage 
was also established at Berne, Indiana. Mr. 
Rohrer was chosen secretary of the society 
and continued as such until October 31, 
1893. He then returned to Berne, Indiana, 
and assumed charge of the orphanage and 
taught school. After some months in Berne 
following his marriage Mr. Rohrer again re- 
sumed his studies at Angola. 

During the days that followed he gained 
the impetus that finally landed him in the 
newspaper business. During his last year at 
Angola he was employed in the composing 
room of the Steuben Republican and there 
learned the printer's trade. His idea after 
returning to Berne following his graduation 
from the normal school was to return to the 
missionary society and teach the children of 
the orphanage printing. However, since 
Berne was a town with a population of one 
thousand and without a paper, some of the 
citizens induced him to give Berne a "mouth- 
piece." Accordingly he established the 
Berne Witness. The first issue of this paper 
appeared September 3, 1S96, and it has be- 
come a power in its community. The path 
of the newspaper publisher is far from a 
rosy one at best. The Witness had its 
troubles before it was firmly established. But 
Mr. Rohrer was a man whom it was diffi- 


cult to discourage, and he kept at the busi- 
ness of .publishing' his paper until he assured 
himself that it was on a permanent and pay- 
ing basis. The paper assisted in driving the 
saloon element out of Berne and Mr. Roh- 
rer gained such distinction by his virile ap- 
peals to public pride and his adoption of a 
radical public policy that the Witness and 
the editor had the eyes of thousands upon 
them. He was assaulted three times and his 
home was dynamited during his crusade, but 
in the end was victorious and carried his re- 
monstrances through the highest courts in 
the state and through the courts of public 
sentiment with credit to himself and to the 
satisfaction of his friends and the conster- 
nation of his enemies. He is a Republican 
in politics, but he does not allow party con- 
siderations to bias his view of the right 
course to pursue. He supports the man 
rather than the party and willing!) - votes for 
Prohibitionists or Democrats if the candi- 
dates of these parties seem preferable. He 
takes an active interest in temperance work 
and has been a member of the German Tem- 
perance Society of Berne since its organiza- 
tion in 1886. He is a consistent member of 
the Mennonite church and serves as its clerk 
and is also a teacher in the Sunday-school, 
and gives this denomination his hearty and 
substantial support. 

The marriage of Mr. Rohrer and Miss 
Emma Reusser, who was a deaconess in the 
Chicago establishment of the Light and 
Hope Mission, occurred November 16, 
.1893. The wedding was celebrated in the 
house that is still their home. His wife is 
a daughter of Jacob Reusser, one of thr 
three men who named the city of Berne. Mr. 
and Mrs. Rohrer are the parents of four 
children: Ira Dwisrht Rohrer, born Octo- 

ber 18, 1894; Paul Frederick Rohrer, born 
July 4, 1S97; Ruth Adina Rohrer, born Jan- 
uary 28, 1901, and Margaret Helena Roh- 
rer, born April 29, 1904. 


Among the moulders of public opinion in 
Adams county, Indiana, the place occupied 
by Mr. O. M. Ryf is an enviable one. He is 
a young man, several years this side of thir- 
ty, but he is the proprietor of a paper that 
has become an established institution of his 
home county and is in every way progres- 
sive and aggressive. The owner of this pa- 
per, with whom this sketch is concerned, was 
born in Monroe township of Adams county, 
July 5, 1884. He is the son of Ferdinand 
and Lena (Kneuss) Ryf. His parents were 
born in the Swiss republic and after their 
marriage came to America. They settled 
in Berne, where the father began to follow 
his trade of shoemaker. He also opened a 
shore store and conducts this business today. 

The subject of this sketch was the third 
in order of birth of nine children that have 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ryf. He received 
his education in the Berne schools and was 
a satisfactory student. After graduating 
from the schools he determined to enter the 
newspaper business. Nothing daunted by 
the history of the many failures that have 
come about through newspaper ventures, he 
secured a small plant and in 1903 published 
the first edition of "The Berne News." 
From its start his paper was popular and 
filled a need of the people of his city and 
county. Its success was assured and as it is 
managed along progressive and liberal lines 



its success is in no jeopardy. An interesting 
fact in connection with the beginning- of the 
paper and a fact that demonstrates the abil- 
ity of its publisher is that within seven 
months of its beginning the paper had a cir- 
"culation in Adams county of eight hundred 
copies. This circulation is growing in a 
healthy manner. 

Mr. Ryf is developing into one of the 
strong men of the younger generation of 
Adams county. He takes an active and in- 
telligent part in the affairs of his county and 
in the workings of the Democratic party, of 
which he is a member. His fraternal affilia- 
tions are with the Knights of Pythias, Berne 
Lodge, No. 398. He is a member of the 
German Reformed church. 


Chris Stengel is one of the successful 
business men and most highly respected citi- 
zens of Berne. Comparatively speaking, he 
is a newcomer to his home city and Adams 
county, but in the years he has been located 
ia Berne he has firmly established himself. 
He was born in Dannenfels, Rheinphalz, 
Germany, December 13, 1865. His parents, 
Henry and Catherine Stengel, were natives 
of the fatherland and lived in their native 
village until their deaths. Their son lived 
with them during his childhood and early 
manhood and acquired a substantial educa- 
tion in the schools of his village. When he 
was about twenty-two years of age he was 
impressed with the greater opportunities of- 
fered in the American republic to young 
'Hen. This thought took firm hold of him 
and in the end he decided to forsake his 

fatherland and embark on a venture across 
the Atlantic. Accordingly, in 1887, he 
sailed for New York, which city he reached 
without incident. His first few months in 
this country were spent in the Atlantic sea- 
board metropolis. Then he considered that 
he would still better his fortunes by going 
westward. This he did, and established 
himself in Ashland county, Ohio. He lived 
in Ohio for the succeeding two and one- 
half years and then came to Indiana. He 
came directly to the Adams county village 
of Berne, where he entered the drug business 
with Mr. J. F. Lachot, who was already es- 
tablished. He continued in the partnership 
arrangement with Mr. Lachot until 1892, 
when he severed his connection with him 
and formed a partnership with James S. 
Craig. The new firm became known as 
Stengel & Craig, and in 1894 James S. 
Craig sold his interest to his son, John W. 
Craig, and this firm has since conducted the 

In 1891 Mr. Stengel was married to Miss 
Millie E. Craig, a daughter of James S. 
Craig, his first associate in business. As a 
result of this marriage three children have 
come to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Stengel. These children are: Auleta, Er- 
nest and Charlotte. 

From the inception of his present business 
venture it has proven highly successful. The 
store is one of the largest and best equipped 
in the county and carries between five thou- 
sand and six thousand dollars' worth of 
stock. Mr. Stengel is an able and enterpris- 
ing business man and the firm's business con- 
tinues to prosper. He takes a live interest 
in the affairs of his county and as a Demo- 
crat has served his fellow citizens in public 
offices. He served as a member of the town 



board for two years and lias been city clerk 
for seven years, his term beginning in 1901. 
He is an earnest member of the German Re- 
formed church and with the members of his 
family contributes to the aims and ambi- 
tions of this denomination. 


John A. Ehrman, a well-to-do citizen of 
Union township, Adams county, Indiana, was 
born on. his father's farm in Van Wert coun- 
ty, Ohio, on July 5, 1S56. His parents were 
Christian and Margaret (Bienz) Ehrman, 
the latter of whom died in 1S60, at the early 
age of thirty-four. The father was a soldier 
in the Civil war and was killed at the battle 
of Gettysburg. They were the parents of 
four children: Ernma, deceased; John A., 
Catherine, the wife of William Gove, of Ply- 
mouth, Indiana, and Lizzie, the wife of Mar- 
tin Schumm. 

The subject of this sketch, at the time of 
his mother's death and near the time of his 
father's entrance into the Union army, went 
to live with Charles Custer, in Root town- 
ship, this county, where he remained until 
eight years of age, when he went to live with 
William Gerke, where he resided until his 
marriage. He was educated in the German 
Lutheran school of Root township and in 
the public schools, and has supplemented this 
education by a liberal course of reading and 
close observation of men and events. At 
the time of his marriage, in 1S80, he settled 
in Allen county, Indiana, for one year and 
then removed to Decatur, where he engaged 
in the implement business for one year. At 
the end of that time, in the spring of 1884, 

he settled 011 the farm where he now resides, 
to which he has devoted his attention with 
such success that he is now in a compara- 
tively comfortable financial position. His. 
eighty acres of land are well improved and 
produce all the crops common to this 

On April 3, 18S0, Mr. Ehrman married 
Miss Caroline Bleeke, who was born in 
Union township, Adams county, on Novem- 
ber 1, 1859, the daughter of Frederick and 
Mary (Bievelheimer) Bleeke, and third in 
order of birth in their family of ten chil- 
dren. Mr. and Mrs. Ehrman are the par- 
ents of nine living children: Rosa M., the 
wife of Ernest Gallmeir; Selma K. T., the 
wife of August Nahrwoid; Nora C. L., the 
wife cf Otto Hertz; Lawrence W., Lydia 
S., Mary P., Martin H. F., Edwin H. and 
Clemeans H. H. Mr. Ehrman has taken a 
deep interest in all local public affairs and 
has held the office of justice of the peace for 
three terms and is the present township as- 
sessor. He and his wife are members of 
the Emanuel Lutheran church, in which or- 
ganization he has been a trustee for two 


William Holle, of Union township, is a 
native of the fatherland, having been bom 
in Prussia, Germany, on November 11, 
184S. His parents were Henry and Louise 
(Kettler) Holle, also natives of Prussia, 
who emigrated to America in 1S57. They 
came at once to Adams county and for three 
years lived on rented land in Root township. 
In 1861 Mr. Holle purchased eighty acres 
of timber land, which he cleared and im- 



proved and developed into one of the best 
farms of the locality. Here they lived until 
their deaths, the father dying August 8, 
1S97, at the age of seventy-eight years, and 
the mother in January, 1905, when upwards 
of eighty years of age. They were the par- 
ents of six children : William, Frederick, 
Engel, who died when about three years 
old; Louise, the wife of W. F. Bleeke; 
Sophia, the wife of Frederick Thieme, but 
who is now deceased, and Emm?, the wife 
of Martin Bleeke. 

The subject of this sketch was nine years 
of age when the family came to America 
and he spent his young manhood in Root 
township, this county, living with his father 
until 1S75, when he settled on the farm 
where he now resides. He has devoted much 
of his attention to the cultivation of his 
farm, but during the past thirty years has 
given much attention to the sawmill busi- 
ness, in which he has been equally 

On September 19, 1875, Mr. Flolle mar- 
ried Miss Sophia Bleeke, a daughter of 
Christian and Louise (Fahlsing) Bleeke, and 
to this union have been born ten children : 
Johanna, the wife of William Koldewey, but 
who died at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on Febru- 
ary 12, 1906; Martin, deceased; Henoch, a 
minister at Omaha, Nebraska ; Charles, who 
died at the age of four years ; Justinus, Otto, 
Matilda, Ludella, Lucy and Lona. Mr. and 
Mrs. Holle are members of the Emanuel 
Lutheran church, in which he has been trus- 
tee, and when the church was erected he 
was president of the building committee, and 
thus was closely associated with this enter- 
prise. He has many fine qualities of charac- 
ter and justly merits the high regard which 
is bestowed upon him by those who know 

him. Mr. Holle owns one hundred and 
twenty acres of land in section 16, where he 
resides, and also owns a farm of one hun- 
dred acres in section 9, Union township. 


Among the younger men who have 
taken a high place in the annals of 
contemporary northeastern Indiana is Jesse 
Rupp. Comparatively speaking, Mr. Rupp 
is a newcomer to Indiana, but in the short 
period he has been located in this section of 
the state and in Adams county he has come 
to be considered a strong man and a finan- 
cier of high order. He was born in Arch- 
bold, Fulton county, Ohio, January 22, 
1874. He is the son of the Rev. Daniel and 
Catherine (Short) Rupp. His father is one 
of the best known and most highly esteemed 
men of his county. He has been a prosper- 
ous farmer for many years and is a minister 
of the Mennonite denomination. Jesse is 
one of three sons born to his parents. The 
eldest, Aaron, is deceased. Daniel follows 
his father's occupation of farming in Fulton 
count)', where he was born. 

It may have been because Mr. Rupp did 
not show an early inclination for agricul- 
tural pursuits that another sphere of life was 
planned for him. As a youth he showed 
aptitude along studious lines and attended 
the Archbold common and high schools. He 
graduated from the first high school that 
community had. Following the completion 
of his high school course he attended the 
Northwestern Normal School at Wauseon. 
Ohio. He then attended the Tri-State Col- 
lege at Angola, Indiana, and completed his. 



school days with a business course at Peoria. 
Illinois. He engaged in teaching for the 
ensuing six years, and during this period 
taught in schools of three states. Returning 
to Archbold, he entered the banking business, 
and* from 1897 until 1904 was associated 
with the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of 
that place. He advanced through successive 
grades of employment until he was chosen 
cashier of the bank. In 1905 he was offered 
the position of cashier of the Berne Bank and 
assumed his duties in that institution. The 
Bank of Berne was organized in 1891 and 
has been a sound financial institution since 
its foundation. It was conceived and organ- 
ized by leading citizens of Adams county 
and the original capital was forty thousand 
dollars. From the first the bank prospered 
and a short time ago moved into a handsome 
new building in the very center of the Berne 
business district. The new building was 
erected at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars. 
The bank is conducted along the best lines 
of modern banking. At present the capital 
stock is fifty-two thousand dollars; the sur- 
plus in excess of thirty thousand dollars and 
deposits more than two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. Under the direction of 
Mr. Rupp the bank has developed and bids 
fair to continue one of the soundest and 
most responsible financial institutions of the 

In 189S Mr. Rupp married Miss Clara 
■Stauffer, a daughter of Amos and Ellen 
■(Morrow) Stauffer. Both of her parents 
were among the pioneer settlers of Adams 
county and settled and established a farm 
home in Hartford township. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Rupp three children have been born. 
These are: Allen E., Grace L. and Emer- 
son J. Mr. Rupp is a fine type of the mod- 

ern, young, aggressive business man. He is 
alive to all that makes for the betterment of 
his fellow citizens and takes an active part 
in promoting live ideas and sane projects. 
He is a Democrat in politics. With his fam- 
ily he takes part in the social and religious 
life of Berne and is esteemed by all who 
know him. 

Mr. Rupp, since coming to Indiana, has 
been active in Sunday-school work and is 
now serving his third term as president of 
the Adams County Sunday- School Associa- 


While it may be as the immortal 
bard said, "There's a destiny that 
shapes our ends, rough hew them 
though we may," to the unimaginative, prac- 
tical man of affairs of today more potent 
seem the qualities of integrity, ambition, in- 
dustry and confidence in one's self in mak- 
ing for and in guaranteeing permanent suc- 
cess. It is the rugged man, the wide-awake 
man and the man who makes every thought 
and effort count for its utmost that is headed 
toward business or any other kind of worldly 
success. Such a man as distinguished from 
many others is Rudolph Schug. Still a 
young man, measured by modern standards, 
he stands high in the business world of suc- 
cessful men of his community and state, and 
his success and prominence were achieved 
through his own efforts without help from 
individuals or outside sources. Left father- 
less at the tender age of four years, Mr. 
Schug was deprived of the advantages of a 
father's counsel and advice. He was born 



in French township, Adams county, Indi- 
ana. August 13, 1864. His parents were 
Karl and Catherine (Roush) Schug\ His 
father was born in Germany and in early 
life he came to this country. He lived for 
a time in Ohio, where he followed his trade 
pf wagon-making. After removing to In- 
diana, in 1864, he took up the business of 
farming, which he followed successfully un- 
til his death, four years and six months later. 
He was the father of eight children, seven 
of whom arc still living. 

Young Schug experienced many hard- 
ships during his youth, but was determined 
to surmount circumstances regardless of 
how adverse they might be. He obtained a 
meager education in the schools of his town- 
ship and supplemented this through his own 
ingenuity. He was a hard worker and am- 
bitious. Reaching manhood, he continued 
in the farming business and made it a pay- 
ing enterprise. When oil was discovered in 
northeastern Indiana he caused wells to be 
put down on his farm and there are today 
nine producing wells. His various other 
business enterprises prospered and his wealth 
increased. He interested himself in politics 
and as a Democrat was chosen township as- 
sessor for French township, which office he 
ably filled for five years. Then lie was 
elected a township trustee for the same town- 
ship and served in this capacity for four 
years. In 1889 he was married to Miss 
Mina Reppert, a daughter of Frederick and 
Eliza (Sellemeyer) Reppert. His wife's 
father and mother were among the older set- 
tlers in Adams county, and her mother is 
still living at the advanced age of ninety-five 

During the decade that preceded the year 
1903 the prosperity of Berne and surround- 

ing territory had grown wonderfully. The 
necessity of an additional bank became ap- 
parent to many. This necessity proved the 
opportunity for which the active brain of 
Rudolph Schug was looking. He began at 
once to organize a bank. Taking the idea 
as his own and working out the details of a 
new banking institution, he personally so- 
licited stock subscriptions among his neigh- 
bors and business men of Adams county and 
was rewarded in February, 1903, by seeing 
the People's State Bank a realized and active 
institution. The bank was capitalized at 
forty thousand dollars, and three years later 
increased to fifty thousand. Mr. Schug be- 
came its first cashier, which position he still 
holds. The bank has grown to a strong 
and reliable institution, even when measured 
by the older and more pretentious institu- 
tions of the state. There are seventy-three 
stockholders in the bank, representing more 
than a million and a half dollars in personal 
wealth and all reside in Adams county. 

But Mr. Schug is interested in other busi- 
ness enterprises than the bank he founded. 
He was treasurer and secretary of the Berne 
Artificial Stone Company two years; is a 
director in the Berne Manufacturing Com- 
pany and served three years as treasurer of 
the Great Northern Indiana Fair Associa- 

Mr. Schug and his family live in the hand- 
somest home in Berne. It is a large eleven- 
room house, built of artificial stone and en- 
tirely modern. It is a center of local social 
life and its hospitality is lavishly extended. 
Mr. and Mrs. Schug have become the par- 
ents of seven children, all of whom live with 
their parents. The children are : Stella May, 
Oliver Perry, Urban D., Luster, Homer, 
Nelson R. and Emma. 

2 3 8 



Clarence O. Rayn was born in Bear Creek 
township, Jay county, Indiana, February 7, 
1873. ^ IS parents were Alexander and Car- 
oline (Mendcnhall) Rayn. The father is 
now a resident of Portland. The mother 
died when Clarence was about four years 
old. He has one sister living at Winchester, 
Indiana. The subject of this sketch was 
reared on a farm and attended school regu- 
larly and finished his schooling at the uni- 
versity at Ada, Ohio. He began the print- 
er's trade at the age of seventeen, working 
in the News office at Ridgeville, which was 
then owned by his brother-in-law, W. L. 
Day. By working at the trade he made 
much of the money that made it possible for 
him to attend various normal schools and 
prepare himself for his chosen profession, 
that of newspaper work. At the age of 
twenty-two he bought a second-hand print 
-shop at Portland and moved it on wagons to 
Mendon, Ohio, where he launched his first 
newspaper, and the first in that town. He 
remained there until 1S96 and then sold it to 
O. F. Geiger, the present owner. He then 
returned to Geneva and worked in the office 
cf the Geneva Herald for his brother, O. G. 
Rayn, now deceased, and in April, 1897, he 
purchased the Herald office and by hard 
work and skillful management has it and a 
snug little home paid for. He also owns the 
brick building in which the Geneva Herald 
office is located. 

On September 19, 1S97, he married Miss 
Pearl Leota Dutton, youngest daughter of 
five children born to James W. and Sarah 
(Grant) Dutton, two highly respected peo- 
ple. Mrs. Rayn was born May 7, 1876, in 

Mendon, Mercer county, Ohio. She was 
one of the best known and most highly re- 
spected young ladies of that community. She 
was a member of the Church of God, but 
now belongs to the M. E. church of Geneva, 
of which Mr. Rayn is also a member. He 
at present is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, 
Daughters of Rcbekah and Pythian Sisters. 
Mrs. Rayn is also a member of the two lat- 
ter orders, in good standing, and at this time 
is noble grand of Sylvia Rebekah Lodge, 
No. 327. 


The legal profession in Adams county, 
Indiana, has no more respected or abler 
member than William B. Drew. As an at- 
torney who has created an enviable place 
among his fellows for himself much inter- 
est centers about him. Never having had 
the advantages of a course in an established 
college of law, Mr. Drew gathered his large 
fund of legal knowledge through his own 
unaided efforts and prepared himself in a 
thorough manner to practice his profession. 

He is the son of Rufus B. and Mary A. 
(Buck) Drew. His father was born in 
Maine and his mother is a native of New 
York. The grandfather of William B. Drew 
was the Rev. John Drew, who preached the 
gospel in Maine near the city of Bath for a 
number of years and then removed to Law- 
renceville, Pennsylvania, where he also 
preached. The family is of English descent 
and is one of the distinguished "down east" 
families. After living with his father in 
Pennsvlvania for some vears, Rufus Drew 



moved to Steuben county, New York. He 
followed the pursuits of a farmer in the New 
York county until his death in 1889. Mrs. 
Rufus Drew the following year removed to 
the home of a daughter in Indiana, where 
she died after a few months. 

William B. Drew was born near Elkland, 
Tioga county, Pennsylvania, July 5, 1833. 
He removed with his father to New York, 
where he lived until twenty years of age. In 
1853 he went west and settled in Fayette 
county, Ohio. For the next three years he 
was employed as a cierk in a hotel, and then 
he pushed farther west, coming to Randolph 
county, Indiana. While living in Steuben 
county Mr. Drew studied in the county 
schools and took a course for two years in 
an academy at Knoxville, Pennsylvania. 
Here he acquired a smattering of law, and 
when he came to Indiana he pursued his 
reading of law during the six years he 
taught in the Randolph county schools. He 
was chosen a justice of the peace and filled 
this office and practiced law in said county 
for thirteen years. His practical work while 
in office, supplemented by his industrious 
and careful reading, gave him a grasp of the 
principles of his profession few men have. 

In 1856 Mr. Drew married Miss Rebecca 
Vorhis, daughter of Cornelius and Elizabeth 
(Large) Vorhis. Mr. Vorhis and his wife 
were natives of New Jersey who came to 
Indiana early in the fifties and settled in Ran- 
dolph county, where they devoted them- 
selves to farming. Following his marriage 
Mr. Drew successfully practiced his profes- 
sion and at the beginning of the Civil war he 
enlisted in the Eigthy-fourth Indiana Vol- 
unteer Infantry. His command was attached 
to the Army of the Cumberland under Gen- 

eral Granger. Mr. Drew saw much active 
service until his discharge in 1863 because 
of ill health. He then returned to his home 
in Randolph county and again took up the 
practice of law and in 1876 removed to Ge- 
neva, Adams county. During their married 
life a number of children were bom to Mr. 
and Mrs. Drew. These were named: Ru- 
fus, since dead; Anna, the wife of James 
Lindsay, of Alexandria, Indiana ; Bessie, 
the wife of Felton D. Garrison, who during 
his life was employed by a railroad, his 
widow now a resident of Kalamazoo, Mich- 
igan ; Thomas, who conducts a harness store 
at Geneva and is married to Delia Bucking- 
ham; Willard, a farmer of Butler county, 
Missouri, and the husband of Lucy Carpen- 
ter; Charlotte, the wife of Robert B. Black, 
an oil man of Geneva ; Charles, in the em- 
ploy of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and 
Moore and Adelbert, who died in infancy. 
Mrs. Drew died in 1898. 

Mr. Drew has ever been a man who took 
a keen interest in the affairs of his county 
=ind neighborhood. He has long been an 
ardent Prohibitionist, and was among those 
who organized the party in Adams county. 
He has been a successful business man and 
owns several fine residence properties in his 
town and some vacant property. He has 
been a notary public for more than twenty 
years and has been prominent in public af- 
fairs. He is one of the men of the county 
who can view his achievements and then say 
with honesty that what he has accumulated 
has been done through his own unaided ef- 
forts. He is a man universally esteemed by 
all who know him and enjoys the fullest 
confidence of his neighbors and fellow resi- 
dents of Adams county. 




Aaron Irian, who conducts a well-stocked 
and well-patronized livery stable at Geneva, 
Wabash township, Adams county, Indiana, 
is a native of the old Buckeye Stale, having 
been born in Dark county, Ohio, on July 20, 
1857. His parents were Gilbert and Polly 
(Bingham) Irian, the former of whom was 
a native of Ohio and the latter of Pennsyl- 
vania. They were successful and respected 
people and were the parents of nine chil- 
dren, of whom the first born was the subject 
of this sketch, the others being Jacob, Jo- 
seph, Moses, Rose, Iona, Sarah, Robert and 
Anna, deceased. The parents were both 
members of the Dunkard church and are 
both now deceased, the father dying in 
i3S2 and the mother ten years later. 

Mr. Irian came to Adams county in 1902 
and engaged in the livery business, which 
he has since successfully conducted. Prior 
to this time he was engaged in various occu- 
pations, having been a teamster for ten 
years, farming five years in Willshife, Ohio, 
and two years in Van Wert county, Ohio. 
In all of his various occupations he has been 
successful and now owns his residence in 
town, besides his liven' barn. He is a 
Democrat in politics, though not a seeker of 
emoluments. Fraternally he belongs to the 
Woodmen of the World at Salina, Ohio, and 
the Knights of Pythias at Geneva. He and 
his family attend the United Brethren 

In 1880 Mr. Irian married Miss Rachael 
Beem, a daughter of John and Elizabeth 
(Riffle) Beem, residents of Dark county, 
Ohio. To the subject and his wife have 
been born three children: James, who is 
married and makes his home with his father; 

Nellie, who became the wife of Frank Ber- 
g-el, a harness-maker of Fort Wayne, Indi- 
ana, and Cecil, the wife of Karl Ford, a 
lumberman, also at Fort Wayne. Mr. Irian 
so far has performed well his part in life and 
is enjoying the regard and esteem of all who 
know him. 


Conditions at the birth of S. II. Teeple 
did not argue a very bright future for an 
interesting youth. His parents, James B. 
and Mary (Smith) Teeple, were very poor. 
The father came to Indiana and settled in 
Adams county at an early date and followed 
farming and carpenter work. The success 
of the elder Teeple was but moderate and 
their son was not given the advantages even 
of that poor day. He was born on his 
father's farm in Adams county July 19, 
1S57. His youth was hard and filled with 
toil. He was one of a family of 
nine children and shared with them 
the poor comforts of his parental 
home. Of the family four are living: Isaac, 
S. H., Sarah and Mary C. It will be seen 
that our subject was the second of these 
children in order of birth. He received a 
poor education in the common schools of his 
district, but his duties at his home com- 
pelled him to forego all but a few terms in 
the schools. His education during his youth 
was necessarily incomplete, but in his after 
life he improved his fund of knowledge by 
a liberal and intelligent course of independ- 
ent reading. He spent his life on the farm 
until 1S86, when he engaged in the mercan- 
tile business at Geneva. He opened a store 



and it- proved a successful venture. He con- 
tinued to conduct the affairs of his store dur- 
ing the six years that followed its founding 
and he gained much in patronage and in ma- 
terial wealth. But the fascinations of farm 
life proved too strong for him to resist and 
at the end of the six years' period he retired 
from active connection with his store and 
returned to his farm. This estate he im- 
proved from time to time. It consists of one 
hundred and eighty-five acres and is consid- 
ered one of the most attractive and pro- 
ductive farms in its immediate section of the 
county. When oil was discovered in north- 
eastern Indiana this farm lay directly in the 
most productive belt. " At intervals wells 
were drilled until a total of fourteen had 
been put down on the Teeple farm. Eleven 
of these proved productive to a marked ex- 
tent and are still pumped. Three others that 
were among the number originally drilled 
have become unproductive. 

Mr. Teeple has been an active partisan in 
politics and has been one of the staunchest 
supporters of the Republican party in his 
county. He has taken an interested part in 
his section of the state when matters affect- 
ing his political affiliations were considered. 
His reward for his faithful party work came 
a year ago, when he was appointed postmas- 
ter of Geneva. Until receiving this appoint- 
ment he had lived on and tilled his farm 
since retiring from his mercantile business 
in Geneva. He assumed the duties of post- 
master July 1, 1906. 

Mr. Teeple was married in 1885 to Miss 
I ora A. McCollam, a daughter of Jesse and 
Charlotte (Kelly) McCollam, who were 
farmers cf Adams county. Mr. and Mrs. 

eeple are the parents of two children. 
Jesse F. is employed at the Teeple mercan- 

tile establishment at Geneva and Myrle re- 
sides at home. Mr. Teeple is a member of 
the Geneva Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and 
with his family worships at the United 
Brethren church. 

H. M. ASPY, M. D. 

The name of the subject of this sketch is 
one of the best known among the physicians 
of northeastern Indiana. He has been in 
active practice of his profession in Geneva, 
Adams county, for about thirty years and 
has gained enviable prominence and patron- 
age. He was born in Wabash township, 
Adams county, December 23, 1850. He is 
the son of Mark and Elsie A. (Short) 
Aspy. His father was born in Rush county, 
Indiana, in 1823 and his mother, who was 
born in Virginia, came to Indiana with her 
parents when but three years of age. The 
elder Aspy was a farmer, who developed his 
land and improved it until it became one of 
the best and most productive tracts in the 
county. In addition to his profession of 
farming he manufactured coffins and con- 
ducted an undertaking business. The first 
coffins made in Adams county were manu- 
factured on the elder Aspy's farm about 
three miles east of the present village of 
Geneva. A brother of Dr. Aspy still lives 
on the old farm of his grandfather. The 
death of the subject's father occurred July 
2j, 1885, and he was mourned as one of the 
most respected residents of the entire com- 
munity. He was the father of seven chil- 
dren, six of whom survive him. His wife 
lived until October, 1903, when she died at 
the age of eighty-two years. She was dis- 



tinguished for having lived continuously on 
one farm for fifty-five years and one day. 

Dr. Aspy was reared on his father's farm 
and obtained his early education in the com- 
mon schools of the district. He decided to 
take up the medical profession and entered 
the Miami Medical College at Cincinnati, 
from which institution he was graduated in 
1876. He returned at once to Geneva, where 
he began the practice of his profession. In 
this he has been engaged ever since and has 
built up a large and remunerative clientage. 
He is a physician who believes in keeping 
fully abreast with the developments and 
progress of his profession, and does this to 
a marked extent. However, although his 
profession has claimed a major portion of 
his time and attention, he has interested him- 
self in other commercial enterprises. He is 
secretary and manager of the Geneva Tele- 
phone Company, which was organized in 
1900 by Geneva people, where all the stock 
is held, and has done much to put this com- 
pany on a paying basis. In addition he 
owns thirty-two acres of farm land, a part 
of his father's farm. 

In 1879 he niarried Miss Elizabeth Burke, 
a daughter of William Burke, who came to 
Adams county from Ohio, and is one of the 
older settlers of the county: Three children 
have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Aspy. They 
are: Blanche, who is in the millinery busi- 
ness at Geneva ; Gladys and Floyd. The 
latter children reside with their parents. 

Dr. Aspy is an enthusiastic Republican 
and has served as town treasurer and as a 
member of the Board of Health. He is a 
member of the Geneva Lodge of the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and was one 
of the first members the lodge initiated. He 
has a comfortable home and other property 

and is counted among the substantial men of 
Geneva. He and his iamily are popular and 
their home is one of the most delightful in 
the neighborhood. 


Dr. Lemuel Lewis Mattax was born in 
Adams county, Indiana, September 5, 
1862. He is a son of William L. and Ber- 
sheba (Coverdale) Mattax. Both his 
father and mother were natives of Ohio. The 
former was born in Tuscarawas county in 
1838 and the latter in Muskingum county in 
the same year. W. L. Mattax came to In- 
diana and settled in Adams county with his 
parents, who entered a farm in Monroe 
township in 1840. The parents are still liv- 
ing in Blue Creek township, Adams county. 
Dr. Mattax is one of two children of his 
father's family who are still living. A sis- 
ter is the wife of Virgil Mercer, living on 
the old homestead. Two other children died 
in youth. These were Bertie and Lida. 

Like almost every other country boy of 
the period, Dr. Mattax was reared on a 
farm and learned the meaning and responsi- 
bilities of a farmer's life. He attended the 
schools of his township and picked up as 
good an early education as was possible. 
He worked on his father's farm and assisted 
in cultivating this tract. After he had com- 
pleted his studies in the common schools lie 
read medicine in the office of Dr. Coverdale 
for three summers. This study gave him a 
decided preference for medicine as a profes- 
sion, opposed to a farmer's life, and he en- 
tered the Starling Medical College at Colum- 
bus, Ohio. On March 7, 1891, he gradu- 



ntcd from this institution, standing high in 
his class. He returned to his home at 
Geneva and at once took up the active prac- 
tice of his chosen profession. 

A year following his graduation he was 
married to Miss Sophia Eocher, a daughter 
of John and Louise (Seaman) Eocher. His 
wife's parents were born in Germany and 
came to Indiana and settled at Bluffton in 
an early day. Mr. Eocher followed the em- 
ployment of a cooper. 

To Dr. and Mrs. Mattax have been born 
four children, all of whom are at their par- 
ents' home. These children are: Harold, 
John Lee, Louise V. and Lavone B. 

Dr. Mattax has led an active life. He 
stands high in his profession and has taken 
an interest at all times in matters that meant 
the betterment of his community. He is a 
Democrat in politics and has served as town 
treasurer and as health officer. He is a 
member of Geneva lodge, No. 514, Knights 
of Pythias, of which he has been chancellor 
commander. He is public spirited and a 
man who believes thoroughly in progres- 


H. P. Bradford, about whom the interest 
in this sketch centers, was born in Adams 
county, Indiana, April 20, 1S67. He is a 
son of Peter and Martha (Cornelius) Brad- 
ford. His parents were natives of Ohio 
and were reared and married in Muskingum 
county of that state. They removed from 
Muskingum county to Indiana in 1S56 and 
settled on a farm in Wabash township, 
Adams county. They followed the occupa- 
tion of farming: until their deaths. Peter 

Bradford was a soldier in the Union army 
during the early years of the Civil war and 
died while in the army as a result of dis- 
ease and exposure endured in the line of his 
duty. Plis death occurred in 1S62. His 
widow survived him a number of years and 
finally passed away on the home farm in 
Wabash township in 1887. Four children 
were born to this estimable couple. Of this 
number two survive. Those living are: 
Reuben and H. P., the subject of this sketch. 
Two sons are dead. These were : William 
and John. 

The youth of H. P. Bradford was spent 
on his father's farm in Adams county. He 
attended the winter sessions of the schools of 
his neighborhood and secured a fair English 
education. In the milder months of the 
year he assisted in the cultivation of the 
home farm and lived on it" for a number of 
years after reaching manhood. After the 
death of his father much of the care and 
responsibility of cultivating and managing 
the family homestead fell upon his shoulders. 
He continued to operate the farm and lived 
on it, caring for his mother until her death. 
After his mother died he married Miss 
Rosie Wible. His wife is a native of Jay 
county, Indiana, and is a daughter of Sam- 
uel and Jane (Burris) Wible. She was 
reared and educated in Jay county and lived 
with her parents until her marriage. Mr. 
and Mrs. Bradford are the parents of thee 
children. These children are: Inez I.. Vera 
and Jane, and are residing with their par- 
ents on the home place. 

Mr. Bradford is the owner of a tract of 
thirty-five acres inside the corporation limits 
of the town of Geneva. He has always lived 
on this place and it descended to him from 
his father. He conducted a general farming 



business and is a prosperous and successful 
man. However, he sold out his 
interests in both of these busi- 
nesses and now devotes himself to 
the cultivation of his place and to dealing in 
Adams county real estate. In addition to 
his farm in Geneva he is the owner of other 
real estate that is increasing in value as the 
years pass. Although Mr. Bradford is an 
enthusiastic member of the Democratic 
party, he is not a public man in the sense 
that he aspires to office and he has never 
held public office of any kind. He is not 
affiliated with any fraternal bodies. He is 
an excellent example of a good citizen and a 
progressive, wide-awake man and is es- 
teemed and trusted by all who know him. 


Henry Decker, than whom no man in Wa- 
bash township, Adams county, Indiana, is 
more highly respected and esteemed, was 
born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 15, 
1854. His parents were Henry and Eliza- 
beth (Zieg) Decker, who subsequently came 
to Ripley county, Indiana, and located on a 
farm, where the father died shortly after- 
wards. They were the parents of nine chil- 

Henry Decker attended the common 
schools of the locality in which he was 
reared and his early years were given to the 
pursuit of agriculture, to which he has de- 
voted the subsequent years of his life. He 
is now the owner of sixty-five acres of 
splendidly improved land, a part of which is 
in Jay county and the balance in Wabash 
township, Adams county. His first experi- 

ence in anything was as a laborer in Decatur 
county, Indiana, after which, in 1874, he 
came to Wabash county, where he lived until 
locating on his present homestead. He soon 
reclaimed his farm from the forests which 
originally covered this section and has made 
many substantial and permanent improve- 
ments. He has given considerable attention 
to the breeding of stock, especially Chester 
White hogs, in which line he has achieved 
a distinctive success. Mr. Decker is public 
spirited and takes an active interest in local 
public affairs, having served as supervisor 
of his township for two years, and in 1904 
was elected trustee, in which capacity he is 
now serving. Mr. Decker is an ardent 
sportsman and annually spends thirty days 
in hunting deer in Michigan and the Da- 
kotas. He is a good shot and possesses 
many trophies of his skill. 

In 1885 the subject was married to Miss 
Frances Bucher, daughter of Joseph and 
Harriet (Eckrote) Bucher, who came to 
Adams county, Indiana, and settled on a 
farm in Wabash township, where they still 
reside. To the subject and his wife have 
been born three children : Guy, deceased ; 
Bessie and Lucy, who both attend school. 
Mr. Decker is public spirited in his attitude 
toward all things that tend to promote the 
material prosperity of his community and 
enjoys the respect and esteem of all who 
know him. 


While the business career of Willis C. 
Glendening. about whom this sketch is con- 
cerned, has been a varied one and a most 



active one, it lias been uniformly successful 
;uiJ lias gained much enviable repute. Mr. 
Glendening is today one of the substantial 
men of this section of the state, and he is 
widely and favorably known. He was born 
in Adams county, May 27, 1862. He is the 
son of John and Rachel (Pontius) Glenden- 
ing. His father was born in England, and 
when he left the old country he came direct 
to Indiana. He settled in Hartford town- 
ship and purchased land, which he farmed 
until his death, March 15. 1876. Following 
the death of her husband, Mrs. Glendening 
married Thomas Uptgraft, who died in 
1897. She contracted a third marriage with 
John Mason, a Wells county farmer, and 
lives with this husband on his farm. 

YV. C. Glendening was the second in or- 
der of birth of a family of four children. 
The others are: William, a farmer living in 
Hartford township; Charles, living at Ge- 
neva, and Sherman, living in Hartford town- 
ship. The early life of the subject of this 
sketch was spent on his father's farm. He 
attended the district schools and at inter- 
vals assisted in the farm work. When he 
reached his twenty-first year he engaged in 
the drug business in Geneva, in which busi- 
ness he continued for the following four 
years. At the end of this period he disposed 
of his interest in the drug business and en- 
gaged in farming in Jay county. After 
three years spent in fanning his Jay county 
place he was attracted by the opening of the 
Indiana oil fields and formed a business ar- 
rangement with the Bolds brothers, with 
whom he was associated for two years. He 
again changed the nature of his business af- 
ter this arrangement was concluded and en- 
tered the general merchandise business at 
Geneva, having the Bolds brothers as asso- 

ciates. This business was managed by Mr. 
Glendening for about three years and grew 
to be one of the most profitable enterprises 
of Geneva. At the expiration of three years 
he entered the general merchandise business 
with Fields & Company, and still later be- 
came associated with the firm of Minch & 
Company. But the oil business attracted 
him again, and he once more embarked in it. 
This time he interested himself in the new 
field discovered and opened near Robinson, 
Illinois, and he retains his interests in this 
field to this day. At present he is a clerk 
with the firm of Acker & Teeple, of Geneva. 
This firm does a general merchandise busi- 
ness and Mr. Glendening became connected 
with this store September 15, 1905. The 
following year after he became associated 
with the last named firm he fitted out the 
Shamrock Hotel in a modem manner. All 
the fittings and furnishings were new, and 
the place was brought to a modern standard. 
This property he subsequently traded for a 
farm in Ohio in January, 1907. From 
these foregoing facts it will be seen that the 
business career of Mr. Glendening has been 
an active one. Throughout his career he 
has been an able and aggressive man. His 
methods have been progressive and satis- 
factory to all connected with the enterprises 
in which he was interested. 

He was married to Miss Ella Darr, a 
daughter of Patton and Elizabeth Darr, in 
1885. Three children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Glendening: Lake E., Bertie 
R. and Willis D. Mrs. Glendening died 
in September. 1902. The home life of the 
family is ideal and the home is the center of 
much of the social life and wholesome gaiety 
of the town. 

Mr. Glendening is a public-spirited man. 



He takes an active part in the affairs of his 
community and is identified with all move- 
ments to help the community. He votes the 
Republican ticket but is not a partisan poli- 
tician. He is a member of Geneva Lodge, 
No. 514, Knights of Pythias, the Maccabees 
and Sons of Veterans. For two years he 
served as town clerk. He is an ardent hunt- 
er and. spends a month each year in the 
woods of northern Michigan in search of 
deer. He is usually successful and the veni- 
son he sends home is much enjoyed. 


John C. Augsburger was born in French 
township, Adams county, Indiana, in 1876. 
He was one of a family of sixteen children 
who were born to Christian and Barbara 
(Liechty) Augsburger. His parents were 
of sturdy German stock. His father was 
born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, June 
19, 1821, and his mother in Adams county, 
Indiana, in 1S41. 

The elder Augsburger came to Indiana 
from his Pennsylvania birthplace with his 
parents in 1S41. A farm had been operated 
in Ohio before the final move to Indiana was 
made, but the Ohio conditions did not please 
the emigrants and they pushed on westward. 
Reaching this state, the Augsburgers settled 
on a tract of land in section 35, of French 
township. The tract comprised one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, all of which was heav- 
ily timbered. The parents, with the aid of 
their children, cleared the land and lived on 
the farm until their deaths. The elder 
Augsburger died in 1855 and his wife sur- 
vived him more than two decades, dying in 

1876, at the advanced age of ninety-two, in 
Hartford township. 

The elder Augsburger grew to manhood 
in Ohio and received his education in the 
common schools of his neighborhood. He 
taught school for several terms in his native 
Ohio county and also after he had moved to 
Adams county. He was one of the earlier 
educators of Adams county, and to him 
many of the successful farmers of the coun- 
ty are indebted for their knowledge of the 
first principles of learning. He seems to 
have played an important part in the affairs 
of his section of the state in his day, and was 
chosen to hold important offices. For a time 
before he was married he served his fellow 
residents of Adams county in the capacity 
of township clerk and following his mar- 
riage he was an assessor for two years. The 
records show that he was a faithful official 
and discharged all of his duties with skill 
and discrimination. He was a man of keen- 
ly religious tendencies, and was a minister 
of the Mennonite faith for thirty-six years. 
He was an eloquent preacher and served 
many congregations intelligently and added 
to the lustre of his good name. 

He took as his wife in 1859 Barbara 
Liechty, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine 
(Wenger) Liechty, both natives of Switzer- 
land, who came to America in 1832. Mrs. 
Augsburger's parents lived in Wayne coun- 
ty, Ohio, where they were married. In 
1840 they moved to Indiana and settled on 
a farm in French township, Adams county. 
Her father died in 1883 and his wife seven 
years later. 

The subject of this sketch, John C. Augs- 
burger. was married in 1904 to Amelia A. 
Ashbaucher, a daughter of Christian and 
Malina (Arnold) Ashbaucher, natives of 



Switzerland. Her parents came to the 
United States in 1850 and after living for a 
time in Oiiio moved to Indiana and took up 
fand in Adams county. John Augsburger 
took charge of his father's farm after the 
Litter's death and has continued to operate 
it. It is one of the largest in the township 
and has been brought to a high state of fer- 
tility and productiveness. The residence and 
buildings devoted to farm uses are modem 
and comfortable and the air of the place in- 
dicates progressiveness and thrift. Mr. 
Augsburger is the only member of his fa- 
ther's large family to live continually on 
the homestead tract. The other children of 
his parents are living with the exception of 
four. Those living are: Catherine, Mary, 
Moses, Aaron, David, Amos, Jacob, Verena, 
Lydia, John, Elizabeth and Daniel. The 
children dead were : David, Christian and 
twin infants, who died unnamed. 

Mr. Augsburger is an aggressive and ac- 
tive citizen of his township. He takes an 
active and interested part in the affairs of 
his county, and has been elected to political 
positions of importance and responsibility. 
In 1900 he was chosen as a township asses- 
sor, the duties of which office he discharged 
so ably that at the expiration of his term in 
1904 he was elected to the more important 
office of township trustee, which office he 
still holds. He is a Democrat and is alive to 
party interests and stands high in the coun- 
cils of his party in northeastern Indiana. 
He is a member of the German Reformed 
church and is one of the esteemed members 
of that organization. His course through 
life is such that recommends him to the care- 
ful and favorable consideration of all who 
know him. Christian Augsburger, the fa- 
ther of our subject, died January 19, 1903, 

at the age of eighty-one years and seven 


Levi D. Miller was born in Hartford 
township, Adams county, Indiana, on De- 
cember 10, 1850, and is the son of Daniel 
Miller, who settled early in the state and 
concerning whom mention appears in the 
sketch devoted to David Miller that appears 
elsewhere in this volume. The son grew to 
manhood on his father's farm and obtained 
such an education in the district schools of 
his neighborhood as the times afforded. 
With the exception of the weeks of the win- 
ter months spent in the school room Mr. 
Miller worked with his father on his farm 
and learned the lessons an active, out-of-door 
life in a farming community taught. Tn 
time he became a skillful farmer and was a 
great help to his father. In addition to his 
labors on his father's farm he operated a 
stone quarry, which he made profitable. 

On reaching manhood and his majority 
he decided to marry and set up a home for 
himself. In line with this idea he wooed 
and won Miss Mary Kirchhofer, a daughter 
of David and Barbara (Bixler) Kirchhofer 
His wife's father was a native of Germany, 
being born in that European country Octo- 
ber 19, 1S09. Her mother's birth occurred 
in Wayne county, Ohio, October 6, 1822. 
Mrs. Miller's father came to America with 
an early tide of seekers after new homes in 
the new republic. He landed on the eastern 
shore with his parents in 1S18. The family 
continued westward until the Ohio country 
was reached. Land was secured in Wayne 
county and there David Kirchhofer grew to 



manhood. He was married December 30, 
1 84 1, and seven children were born to this 
union. Four of these children, Abraham, 
Anna, Mary, the present Mrs. Miller, and 
Daniel, are living. Three others — Eliza- 
beth, Jacob and Catherine — are dead. 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Miller took 
place in 1881 and immediately following it 
Mr. Miller gave up his work in connection 
with his stone quarry and purchased a tract 
of eighty acres in section 34 of French town- 
ship, Adams county. The major part of this 
land was cleared and under cultivation when 
it came into his possession. However, there 
were no substantial improvements and no 
house building. One of the first things done 
after the young people entered into posses- 
sion of the land was the erection of a small 
cabin, which became their home for several 
years. Mr. Miller proved to be an indus- 
trious farmer and in the course of a few- 
years he had his land improved, drained and 
properly fenced and at a profitable stage. 
Some ten years ago he erected a handsome 
residence on his farm and later added other 
modern buildings. Among this latter list 
was a fine modern barn structure, erected in 
1902. Today his property is very valuable 
and ranks more than favorably with any 
other similar piece in the county. Fie does 
a general farming business and his crops 
have proved salable and remunerative from 
year to year. 

One child, a son, has been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Miller. This young man, Milton 
Miller, is at present a student in a college at 
Angola. It is his ambition to take up the 
law as his profession and he contemplates a 
course at the State University at Blooming- 
ton. The elder Mr. Miller is a fine type of 
the progressive farmer and is a man who is 

esteemed highly in his community. He 
takes an active interest in political matters 
and is a valued member of the Democratic 
party of his section of the state. 

Mrs. Miller is a member of the Evangeli- 
cal church at Lynn Grove. 


John T. Kelly, farmer, lawyer and manu- 
facturer, is a resident _of Jefferson township, 
Adams county, Indiana, where he was born 
December 21, i860, and is the second son 
of Isaac 13. and Laura (Hersey) Kelly, na- 
tives of Ohio, the father of Carroll, and the 
mother of Hardin county. 

Isaac was a farmer in Ohio, but thought 
to better his fortune by emigrating to Indi- 
ana, which he did many years ago, settling 
in the dense forests of Jefferson township, 
Adams county, a part of which he afterward 
improved. He died November 30, 1893, his 
wife, Laura, having preceded him in the year 

In their church relations they identified 
themselves'with the Methodist Episcopal so- 
ciety and lived exemplary lives. Isaac gave 
faithful and loyal service to his country as a 
soldier for a period of two years during the 
war of the Rebellion. His political faith and 
affiliations were with the Democratic party. 
They had two children — Willis, who died in 
infancy, and John T. 

For his second wife Isaac married Isabelle 
Ramsey, a native of Wells county, Indiana, 
and as a result of this union six children 
were born to them: Marvin, Aionzo, Fin- 
ley, Alfred, Ida and Isaac B. 

John T. was raised on his father's farm, 
where he secured such educational advan- 


249 as were to be derived by the busy 
farmer boy from the common schools of the 
district. Not satisfied with the education 
thus acquired, he afterward attended the 
Eastern Normal School at Portland, Indi- . 
ana, and there equipped himself for the du- 
ties of teacher, which profession he followed 
with marked success for a period of twenty 

In the meantime he took up the study of 
law and is at the present time a member of 
the Adams county bar. He is the owner of 
a fine little farm of twenty acres, nicely im- 
proved, with thoroughly modern buildings 
surrounding it, and a most pleasant and 
comfortable home. 

He is also engaged in the manufacture of 
cement building blocks. 

In 1 888 he was married to Rebecca 
Thatcher, a native of Miami county, Ohio, 
a daughter, of Hillman and Julia (Rooks) 
Thatcher, who were originally residents of 
the state of New Jersey, but later of Ohio. 
To them was born one child, a daughter, 
Lola Opal, now at home. 

John is a member of the Knights of Py- 
thias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
lodges at Berne, Indiana, and. with his wife, 
is a consistent Christian and member of the 
Evangelical church. 

Mr. Kelly in his political belief advocates 
the basic principles and doctrines of the 
Democratic party and has always been a 
source of strength to its cause by his wise 
counsel and sturdy character. 

With his party and his friends he is much 
esteemed, as evidenced by his election in 
1S94 and again in 1896 to represent his 
county in the state legislature, where his 
services were eminently satisfactory to his 


John Hendricks, the subject of this sketch, 
is living a restful retired life at his home in 
the village of Monroe, Adams county, after 
a busy career, marked by hard and indus- 
trious toil and by his part played in the san- 
guinary struggle to preserve the Union. He 
was bom in Harrison county, Ohio, June 24, 
1839. ^ e " s a son °^ Thomas and Lydia 
(Renicker) Hendricks, who were married in 
Ohio and later came to Indiana and pur- 
chased a farm in Adams county in 1852. 
His father was born in Ohio in 181 1 and his 
mother was born in Pennsylvania. The el- 
der Hendricks established himself in Monroe 
township and took up farming. He was an 
industrious and careful man and amassed a 
handsome competence for himself and fam- 
ily. He was a farmer all of his life and at 
his death owned two hundred acres of fine 
land that was highly improved. He died in 
1883 and was the father of seven children, 
three of whom, John, Mary J. and James, 
are living. He was a public-spirited man 
and took an active part in the affairs of his 
county and township. He was a Democrat 
and served many years as a supervisor of his 
home township. 

John Hendricks was reared among the 
wholesome influences of his father's home. 
He attended the schools of his neighborhood 
and learned the lessons of industry and fru- 
gality that made his after life successful. He 
assisted his father in the cultivation of the 
family homestead until he grew to man- 
hood. When the Civil war broke out and the 
dissolution of the Union was threatened and 
the calls for volunteers were ringing over 
the country young Hendricks decided that 
his place was at the front. He enlisted in 



Company H, Eighty-ninth Regiment Indi- 
ana Volunteer Infantry, under the command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Cravens. Soon after 
he joined his regiment it was ordered to the 
front and was attached to the Army of the 
West. This army saw some desperate fight- 
ing, and from August 9, 1862, 
when Hendricks enlisted, he was 
seldom without the din of bat- 
tle in his ears. He was a gallant soldier and 
bore the hardships of hard campaigning with 
patience and with soldierly stolidity and 
philosophy. He took part in a number of 
important battles while its regiment was 
making its way from Kentucky through the 
southern states to the sea east of Atlanta. 
Among these engagements were the battles 
of Mumfordsville, Kentucky; Yellow Bayou, 
Louisiana; Bayou Lamore, Louisiana; Tu- 
pelo, Tennessee; Nashville and the Siege of 
Mobile. After the close of the war he re- 
turned to Adams county and resumed the 
peaceful pursuit of farming. 

Mr. Hendricks was married in 1866 to 
Miss Margaret E.Ray, a daughter of George 
W. and Eleanor (Williams) Ray. Her 
parents were natives of Harrison county, 
Ohio, and came to Indiana and settled in 
Adams county in 1S48. They located on a 
farm in Monroe township and the father, in 
connection with his farming, followed the 
trades of carpentering and broom-making. 
Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Hendricks, of whom three are still living. 
These children are: James W., who with 
his brother, George A., runs the old home 
farm, and William A., who is connected 
with a mercantile establishment at Monroe. 

After his return from the war Mr. Hen- 
dricks devoted his time and energies to the 
cultivation of a farm of one hundred and 

fifteen acres in Monroe township. He la- 
bored industriously and developed a fine es- 
tate. He improved it materially from time 
to time and brought it to a high stage of 
fertility and productiveness. He continued 
to manage his farm until 1897, when he re- 
tired from active business. He purchased a 
comfortable home in Monroe and is living 
there now. He delegated the management 
of his farm to his sons and they cultivate the 
fine estate developed by their father. 
Throughout his life Mr. Hendricks has 
taken a lively interest in the affairs of Adams 
county and Monroe township. He has 
served in public office and was a supervisor 
for a number of years. He also has been a 
member of the Monroe town council and was 
one of the men who organized and platted 
the present village of Monroe. He is a 
member of the Grand Army of the Republic 
and of the Methodist Episcopal church. He 
is considered one of the substantial citizens 
of Adams county and is highly esteemed 
wherever he is known. 


About the year 1833 the United States 
government purchased the lands in Ohio 
held by the Seneca Indians and threw them 
open in small tracts to white settlers. Among 
those who took advantage of this oppor- 
tunity to secure land at a small cost was 
Steven Hoffman, the father of the man -who 
is written about in this sketch. Steven Hoff- 
man bought eighty acres and to reach his 
new property he was compelled to make a 
journey of five hundred miles from his home 
in Pennsylvania. This journey he made late 



in the fall, walking all of the way. He 
worked at clearing this land during this and 
succeeding winters, walking back to his 
home each spring in time to assist in the 
farm work on his father's place. In all he 
made five trips of this kind. On the last one 
he bought a pony from the Indians and se- 
cured a wagon. He purchased feathers 
from his Indian friends and these he sold in 
Pennsylvania at a handsome profit. When 
his father, Peter Hoffman, died Steven suc- 
ceeded to the old home. His mother re- 
moved to a son's home in Ohio, where she 
lived until February, 1872. 

James D. Hoffman was born on his 
father's place at West Penn, Pennsylvania, 
June 8, 1850. His mother was the daugh- 
ter of a man named Daubenspeck. She was 
born in West Penn, July 7, 1820. The father 
was born in Northampton county, Pennsyl- 
vania, February 14, 1810. The marriage of 
his parents occurred September 16, 1S38. 
Before his marriage the elder Hoffman 
taught school, although he himself had only 
attended school for thirty days. He also en- 
gaged in farming and was, in very truth, a 
self-made man of strong characteristics and 

Following the death of his wife in 1865 
he came to Indiana, where he bought eighty 
acres in Adams county, and an additional 
one hundred and twenty acres of land in 
Washington township. However, he made 
his home on the former tract, as a portion of 
it was cleared and had a log cabin on it. 
Here he lived until his death, which oc- 
curred October 27, 1S88. 

James Hoffman accompanied his father 
when the latter came to Indiana. He made 
his home with his parent until 1874, when 
he purchased the tract of eighty acres his 

father owned. Then his father transferred 
his residence to his son's place. James was 
married June 4, 1874, to Miss Jennie Fulk, 
a daughter of Jacob Fulk. Her father was 
a native of Stony Creek, Pennsylvania. Five- 
children were born of this marriage : Dora 
May, Elizabeth, deceased ; Lydia and Mary, 
twins, and Ida. Mrs. Hoffman died in 
1883. Two years later Mr. Hoffman was 
married to Catherine L. Hilgeman, a daugh- 
ter of Henry and Wilemena (Lambert) 
Hilgeman. Both of her parents were born 
in Germany. By this marriage Mr. and 
Mrs. Hoffman have six children. These are : 
Blanche, Jason, James C, Francis and 
Gladys. The other child, Lillie, is dead. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman have a most com- 
fortable home. Their farm is well improved 
and is a monument to their industry and 
frugality. He takes a keen interest in public 
affairs and was the second man to circulate 
a petition for ditch drainage. He is a Dem- 
ocrat in political faith, having voted first for 
Horace Greeley, and is a consistent member 
of the German Reformed church. 


For more than a half century the name of 
Martz has been prominently associated with 
the development of Adams county. Partic- 
ularly is this true of Monroe township. 
Henry Martz, the father of the subject of 
this sketch, was one of the earlier settlers in 
the township and a man who took an ex- 
ceedingly active part in the affairs of the 
township. He was born in Pennsylvania in 
1792 and grew to manhood in that state. 
When the new republic was called upon to- 



defend its political integrity against the 
mother country he offered himself as a sol- 
dier and fought throughout the war of 
1812. When the war ended and the country 
was again at peace he moved to Ohio, where 
he lived for a time. In 1840 he brought his 
wife, who was Catherine Lydick, to Indi- 
ana, and located in Monroe township, 
Adams, county. He entered land from the 
government and lived on his tract so se- 
cured until his death in 1S70. His wife sur- 
vived until 1884. Both are buried on their 
homestead. After coming to Indiana he de- 
voted his time and energy to improving the 
-rough land he entered and he lived to see 
the farm transformed from a wilderness to 
a fine estate, well improved and productive. 
He was a man of considerable importance in 
his community. He took an active part in 
all township affairs and the first election held 
in Monroe township was held at his house. 
For the first fourteen years he lived on his 
farm his home was a log house. This he 
tore down later and erected a fine frame 
house. His farm of one hundred and forty 
acres was a fine tract and in addition to 
farming he conducted a private postofhee for 
a number of years. 

There were thirteen children born to this 
hardy pioneer and his estimable wives. 
James K. Martz was born May 1, 1846. He 
was a son by his father's second wife and 
was reared on the homestead in Monroe 
township. He spent his youth much as other 
"boys did in his day and attended the schools 
of the district in which he lived and secured 
as good an education as was possible in that 
day and section of the country. He worked 
•on his father's farm until he grew to man- 
Tiood and then he spent two years in the 
Michigan woods as a lumberman. He also 

was engaged in building the Grand Rapids 
& Indiana Railroad from Monroe to Eerne 
when that road was extended. In 1S72 he 
purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres in Monroe township and in the same 
year was married to Miss Rachael Hahn, a 
daughter of George and Elizabeth (Swiger) 
Hahn. His wife's parents were born in 
Ohio and came to Adams county early in 
their lives and followed farming. Her 
father is still living at the advanced age of 

When Mr. Martz purchased his land it 
was unimproved and represented a vast 
amount of labor before it could be made pro- 
ductive. However, he went to work and in 
a short time he had cleared the greater part 
Of his land and had it under cultivation. To- 
day his estate is one of the best and most 
productive in the township. All of the land 
is cleared with the exception of fifteen acres, 
which is in timber. Recently Mr. Martz 
refused an offer of fifty dollars an acre for 
his timber. He has made many improve- 
ments on the land since it came into his pos- 
session. The tract is well drained and 
fenced and the buildings are substantial and 
commodious. In addition to a general fann- 
ing business he raises swine and cattle of 
good strains. He also has a large flock of 
more than a hundred sheep and lambs. He 
is a public-spirited man and is one who takes 
a keen interest in the affairs of his township. 
He is a Democrat in politics and served for 
about ten years as a member of the township 
advisory board and has been instrumental in 
securing pike roads for the township. ' His 
country place is located two miles south of 
the village of Monroe and is considered one 
of the most attractive in the township. 

Mr. and Mrs. Martz are the parents of 



■ -X children. Of these children two are 
.lead. Jonathan and Oliver. Those living 
arc: Ida, Lillian F., Mary, Daisy, Cleve- 
land, Clem and Josephine. The latter two 
are twins. 


Eli W. Hendricks was born in Monroe 
township', Adams county, January n, 1861. 
He is a son of William and Mary A. (Ray) 
Hendricks. His father was born in Ohio 
in. 1835 and his mother is a native of the 
same state. The grandfather of Eli Hen- 
dricks settled in Monroe township in 1853 
and brought with him to Indiana his son 
William, who became the father of the sub- 
ject of this sketch. The son lived with his 
father on the Monroe township homestead 
until he reached maturity and was married. 
William and Mary Hendricks became the 
parents of eight children. Of this number 
George T., James D., Charles E. and James 
are dead. Eli W., William P., Lydia E. and 
Josiah A. are still living. The father of 
these children followed farming and thresh- 
ing after coming to Monroe township for 
sixteen years. He used the old horse-power 
machines. He was a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic and died July 30, 
1901. He survived his wife some years, her 
death occurring October 3, 1885. 

Eli Hendricks was reared on his father's 
farm and attended the winter sessions of the 
school of his neighborhood. He secured a 
good English education and learned the les- 
sons of farming under the direction of his 
father. He remained on the family home- 
stead until he reached his majority and then 
was variously employed for a few years. 

January 10, 1884, he married Miss Mary 
Ellen Reffey, a daughter of David and Ann 
(McClain) Reffey. His wife's father was 
a native of Berne, Switzerland, and came to 
the United States with his parents when a 
youth. He lived for a time with his parents 
in Ohio and came with them when they re- 
moved to Indiana. He died June 24, 1906. 
His wife, the mother of Mrs. Hendricks, is 
still living with a son on the old homestead. 
Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Reffey: John W., Mary E., Philip H., Oli- 
ver M., Maggie R., Lee, Viola and Ida. The 
last named are dead. 

Mr. Hendricks is the owner of a good 
farm of one hundred and nineteen acres in 
Monroe township. All of this tract is cleared 
and under cultivation with the exception of 
six acres, which are in timber of a good 
quality. He carries on a general farming 
business, raises stock and does dairy farm- 
ing. He feeds all of the products of his 
farm to his stock and his strains of short- 
horn cattle and Duroc swine are famous over 
the county. He has improved his estate until 
it has become one of the most attractive in 
the township. Plis buildings are modern 
and substantial and the whole farm is well 
drained and fenced. He is interested in the 
Monroe Creamery and holds stock in this 
business enterprise. His farm is located one 
mile from the village of Monroe and is a 
valuable possession. 

He is an example of a successful farmer 
and has accumulated his possessions through 
his own unaided efforts. He is a citizen who 
takes a keen interest in the affairs of his 
township and is in the van of all movements 
designed to increase the commercial pros- 
perity of the township or the welfare of the 
residents of Adams county. He is a member 



of the Democratic party, but is in no sense a 
public man. He lias held no public office 
and aspires to none. He and the members 
of his family are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and give this church their 
hearty support. Three children have been 
born to Mr. Hendricks and his estimable 
wife: Lulu H., the wife of Sylvester John- 
ston, living on the home place, and teaching 
school in Monroe township ; Roy and Noah, 
also at home. The family is one of the most 
"highly esteemed in the township. 


The life story of Joseph T. Johnston 
will accurately substantiate any claims he 
might make of being in reality a pioneer set- 
tler of northeastern Indiana. For more than 
seventy years he has lived in Adams county, 
and he has witnessed all the changes that 
have transformed this section of the state 
from a wilderness with a few inhabitants to 
one of the most productive and pleasant por- 
tions of the commonwealth. He was born 
in Tuscarawas county. Ohio, August 7, 
1834. He is a son of James and Eliza (Mer- 
ryman) Johnston. His father was born in 
Pennsylvania and came to Ohio some years 
before the birth of Joseph. He was a farmer 
and miller during his residence in Ohio and 
removed to Indiana when Joseph was but 
three years of age. The family located in 
Washington township near the present site 
of the Washington church. The land was 
rough and inhabited by roving bands of In- 
dians and wild game. Among the stories 
told by Mr. Johnston are the interesting 
ones of his earlier days when he shot deer, 

turkeys, squirrels and other species of wild 
game where farms and villages are located 
today. In those early days the country was 
thinly settled and the houses were distant 
from one another. There were no schools 
and log cabins were the homes of the ma- 
jority of the settlers. They were a hardy 
race and worked industriously at clearing 
their farms and making them productive, 
and the children grew up in an atmosphere 
of independence and learned the wholesome 
lessons of thrift and frugality. Joseph 
Johnston worked in the woods for several 
years and lived in a round log cabin for 
many years. Pie received his early and mea- 
ger education in a log school with puncheon 
floors and with benches that boasted no 
backs, and he did not know what a school 
house looked like until he was eleven years 
of age. However, he was ambitious and 
made the most of such poor advantages as 
were offered him. In his early manhood he 
hewed railroad ties and has the distinction 
of making more ties than^any other man 
of the county. His uncle, Joseph Johnston, 
helped build the first log jail in the county. 
Joseph, our subject, worked at different 
times clearing land for others, and it is said 
that he has cleared more than three hun- 
dred acres during his life. His father died 
in 1854 and since that time Joseph has been 
the support of his mother, who survived her 
husband forty-two years, dying in 1896, in 
her ninety-eighth year. 

Joseph was married in 1858 to Miss Mi- 
nerva Reynolds. She is a daughter of John 
and Rachel (Ball) Reynolds, who were na- 
tives of Maryland and came west. They 
lived for a time in Ohio and then removed 
to Indiana, settling in Root township about 
1S30. Their farm when they purchased it 



was in the woods and was soon improved 
and made productive. Mr. Reynolds added 
to his real estate holdings from time to time 
and at one period of his life owned hun- 
dreds of acres of land in Adams 
county, included in which was the 
present site of the city of De- 
catur. He died in 1846 and his wife died 
'in 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Johnston 
have become the parents of ten children, sev- 
en of whom are still living. Those living 
are: Willis M., Emma R., Florence A., Ed- 
ward J., Sarah E., Charles M. and Rose 
Ann. Eliza J., Edna E. and Cora M. are 

Throughout his life Mr. Johnston has 
voted the Democratic ticket. He has always 
taken an active part in county and township 
affairs and has served as a supervisor and a 
member of the county council. With his 
wife and the members of his family he is an 
earnest and consistent member of the Chris- 
tian Union church. 


Nicholas Rich, who today is one of the 
most prosperous and successful farmers of 
Monroe township, Adams county, was born 
in French township, Adams county, Decem- 
ber 6, 1867. He is a son of Joseph and Anna 
(Moser) Rich. His father was born in Ger- 
many, where he spent his boyhood and re- 
ceived his early education. When he grew 
up he left Germany and crossed the Atlan- 
tic to find a home in the new continent. He 
settled in Canada, where he lived for a short 
time. He became dissatisfied with the pros- 
pects for success in Canada and decided to 
cross the line and settle in the United States. 

Accordingly he sold his land holdings in the 
Dominion and came to Indiana. He pur- 
chased land in French township and began 
the life of a farmer under the stars and 
stripes. At the time he settled in French 
township the country was but thinly settled. 
The land was unimproved and the condi- 
tions were not inviting. However, he pos- 
sessed determination to surmount all obsta- 
cles and in a few years had his land well 
cleared and improved so that it was produc- 
tive and profitable. He became the father 
of ten children, nine of whom are still liv- 
ing. The living children are: Peter, Bar- 
bara, Joseph J., Christ, Nicholas, John, 
Anna, Mary and David. Jacob died some 
years ago. The father of this sturdy fam- 
ily is still living, enjoying the fruits of the 
labor and industry of his early life. He is 
a highly respected man and is one who has 
enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his 
fellows during his long and useful life. 

Nicholas Rich was the fifth of this family 
in order of birth. He saw the light of day 
for the first time on his father's farm and 
was reared on this estate. He attended the 
schools of his neighborhood as a youth and 
secured a good English education. He as- 
sisted his father in the cultivation of the 
family homestead as soon as he was old 
enough to take an active part in farm work, 
and he learned the lessons of agriculture. 
He was an industrious boy and when he 
reached his maturity he was considered a 
skilled fanner, who knew the intricacies of 
his profession. In 18S4 he was united in 
marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bailey, a daugh- 
ter of Daniel and Mary (Leinihger) Bailey. 
Her parents were natives of Ohio who came 
to Indiana and settled in Wabash township, 
Adams county, in the early eighties. They 



were the parents of nine children : Andrew, 
deceased; Jacob, Elizabeth, Mary, Daniel, 
Lydia, John, Samuel and an infant that died 
unnamed. The parents of Mrs. Rich are 
still living. 

Mr. Rich is the owner of a farm of one 
hundred and forty acres in Monroe town- 
ship, where he makes his home. It is one of 
the finest and most productive estates in the 
township. He secured his farm when it was 
but little, if any, improved, and he has de- 
veloped it to its present valuable state. The 
years that have passed since he purchased 
this tract have been filled with the hardest 
kind of labor, but he has not faltered, and in 
the end he conquered all difficulties. His 
place is admirably located in one of the most 
fertile sections of the county. It is well 
drained and tiled, and the fencing and build- 
ings are substantial and adequate. His home 
is a most attractive building and modem in 
all respects. Recently he erected a large 
barn eighty-eight by forty feet. He follows 
a genera! farming business and his crops, 
which are rotated with judgment and intel- 
ligence, are always satisfactory and bring 
a handsome profit in the markets. He has 
all of his place under cultivation with the 
exception of thirty-two acres, and twelve 
acres of this tract are covered with fine tim- 
ber. He raises fine stock and his strains of 
Durham cattle and I. O. C. swine are known 
throughout the county. He is a Democrat 
in politics but cannot be said to be a public 
man. He is alive to the interests of his fel- 
low residents of his township and contrib- 
utes to the advancement of the county's in- 
terests. He and the members of his family 
are members of the Reformed church and he- 
contributes to the charities and support of 
this denomination with liberality. Three 

children have been born to him and his es- 
timable wife. These children are: William, 
Ida and Edna. 


William P. Hendricks was born in Mon- 
roe township, Adams county, January 29, 
1864. He is directly descended from pio- 
neer settlers of northeastern Indiana, and 
his forebears in this section of the country 
have been men and women Who contributed 
much to the development and prosperity of 
their region. He is a son of William and 
Mary A. (Ray) Hendricks. His father was 
the son of Thomas Hendricks, who lived in 
Ohio at an early day and came to Indiana 
in 1847. His son William accompanied his 
father to this state and settled on a farm in 
Monroe township. He lived on this farm 
and cutlivated it until his death in 1.901. His 
wife. died some years earlier, her death oc- 
curring in 1883. To the elder Hendricks 
eight children were born. Of these children 
Eli W., a farmer of Monroe township, cul- 
tivating the ' old homestead ; William P., 
Ella, the wife of Joseph R. Smith, of Petos- 
key, Michigan, and Josiah, also a resident 
of Petoskey, are living. The father of these 
children was a good citizen. He was a pro- 
gressive man and a successful farmer. He 
served as an assessor for one term and con- 
sistently voted the Democratic ticket. He 
was a member of the Methodist Episcopal 

William P. Hendricks attended the coun- 
try schools and received a good English ed- 
ucation. He assisted his father to improve 
and cultivate his estate and worked on it 



until he grew to manhood. He was mar- 
ried in 1887 to Miss Achsah A. Harris, a 
• daughter of William and Julia (Jones) 
Harris. His wife was born in Adams coun- 
ty and her father was one of the early men 
to come to Indiana from Ohio. He settled 
in Adams county about 1850 on land he 
purchased from the government. He always 
lived on this farm after coming to Adams 
county and died on it in 1871. This land 
was transferred but once since it was pur- 
chased originally from the government, and 
that time was when it came into the posses- 
sion of Mr. Hendricks. Soon after Mr. 
Hendricks married Miss Harris he pur- 
chased her father's land. This is a tract of 
eighty acres and is admirably located for 
agricultural purposes. It is rich and is in 
one of the best regions in the county. Dur- 
ing the tenure of Mr. Harris the property 
was improved, and after his death it was 
improved still more by his widow. Since 
coming into the possession of Mr. Hen- 
dricks still other improvements have been 
added from time to time until today it is one 
of the most valuable and most attractive 
places of its kind in the entire county. 
Among the recent improvements made by 
the present owner is a fine barn seventy-six 
by thirty-eight feet. His residence is a sub- 
stantial and comfortable building and the 
other buildings on the estate are up-to-date 
and commodious. He is a progressive man 
and employs modern methods and machin- 
ery in cultivating his farm. His crops are 
rotated with judgment and are aways 

He is a man who takes a live interest in 

the affairs of his county and township. His 

interest extends to a hearty co-operation in 

all projects that are aimed at improving the 


status of the county and increasing its pros- 
perity and commercial development. In pol- 
itics he is a member of the Prohibition party 
and he is active in the work of this party 
in Adams county. He and his wife are 
members of the Evangelical church at Berne 
and are the parents of one child, a son, Guy 
R. Hendricks. 


Few men living in Adams county can look 
back on their lives with more justifiable 
pride than can William F. Schug. He is a 
type of the modem farmer that demon- 
strates what industry and intelligence can 
accomplish, and he is among the most high- 
ly esteemed men of his community. He has 
amassed more than a competence of the 
world's goods, but he has done this unaided 
and through his own efforts. He was born 
in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, April 11, 1853. 
He is a son of Charles and Catherine 
(Rousch) Schug. His parents were born in 
Baumholder, Prussia, Germany. His father 
was born in 1826 and his mother in 1835. 
They were reared in Germany and after 
their marriage came to the United States, 
settling in Ohio. The father was a wagon 
maker by trade and followed this occupa- 
tion in Ohio. In 1863 he removed to Indi- 
ana and settled in French township, Adams 
county. He became a farmer and lived on 
the place he purchased until his death in 
1S69. His wife survived him many years 
and died in 1904. Following his death his 
sons cultivated the farm, which consisted 
of one hundred and sixty acres, until the 
youngest was twenty-one years of age. Mr. 



and Mrs. Charles Schug were the parents 
of eight children: William, Catherine, 
Charles, Julius, Philip, Rudolph, Tekla and 
John. Of this family William, the subject 
of this sketch, was the eldest. 

When he was twenty-nine years of age 
Wiliam F. Schug purchased his present 
farm. It is a fine tract of one hundred and 
forty acres in Monroe township, but was 
covered with woods when he purchased it. 
In addition it was wholly without improve- 
ments of any kind, and the labor and energy 
of the present owner were expended in bring- 
ing it to its present state. He set to work 
to clear the place immediately after it came 
into his possession, and he worked at this 
task until he had completed it. He erected 
a comfortable residence and commodious 
bams and other outbuildings and fenced and 
drained the entire farm. He conducts a 
general farming business and his crops are 
productive of a handsome income each 
year. He raises some excellent cattle and 
his strain of Poland China swine is one of 
the best in the county. 

In addition to his farming he has other 
business interests. He is a man who is alive 
to the needs of his community and when 
banks were proposed he entered heartily 
into their organization. He subscribed to 
the capital stock of the People's State Bank 
of Berne and is still a stockholder in this 
sound financial institution. He also holds 
stock in the Grabill State Bank of Grabill, 
Allen county. Pie is also a director of this 
latter bank. For some years during his 
earlier life he followed carpentering in con- 
nection with his farm work. He has also 
gained more than a local repute as a 
veterinary surgeon, and he is cniled in line 
with this profession frequently. He makes 

his home on his fine estate of one hundrel 
and forty acres in Monroe township. Of 
this tract he has one hundred and twenty- 
six acres under cultivation. The remainder 
he allows to remain in woods and pasture 
land. He owns eight acres of fine woods. 
He is interested in the politics of his section 
and is an ardent Democrat. He is a public- 
spirited man and a believer in good roads. 
He circulated the first petition for pike roads 
in Monroe township and has been instru- 
mental in bringing about many desirable im- 
provements. He is a member of the Ger- 
man Reformed church and contributes gen- 
erously to the objects and charities of this 


When the father of Jacob Huser came to 
northeastern Indiana and settled in French 
township he had for his neighbors members 
of the Indian tribes who were originally 
owners of the land. The country was still in 
its primitive state and the land was swampy 
or covered with thick growths of timber. 
However, the father, Philip Huser, was 
born in France and later lived in Germany 
before coming to the United States, was not 
a man to be frightened either by antagonis- 
tic conditions of land or by hostile neigh- 
bors. He and his wife, Fanny (Moser) 
Huser, had lived for a few years in another 
section of the country before they came to 
Indiana in 1S41. They migrated from Ger- 
many in 1839. After he purchased his tract 
of one hundred and sixty acres he began 
clearing it and improving it. He erected 
log cabin buildings and lived to see hi? place 



under cultivation and greatly improved. He 
died March 12, 1877, at the age of sixty- 
liirec years. His wife died February 8, 
1877, a few weeks before him. This esti- 
mable couple were the parents of ten chil- 
dren, of whom nine lived to reach maturity. 

Jacob Huser was born in Adams county, 
April 7, 1855. He spent his boyhool on his 
father's farm and when he was old enough 
took an active part in clearing and cultivat- 
ing- the farm. He was educated in the rude 
schools of the neighborhood and received as 
good an English training as the time and 
conditions made possible. He was an in- 
dustrious and dutiful son and laid the foun- 
dations for a career that was to bring him 
esteem and honor. He learned the lessons 
of a pioneer's life and frugal habits. The 
marriage of Mr. Huser and Miss Lydia 
Liechty occurred in 1877. Mrs. Huser is 
a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Wen- 
ger) Liechty. Her parents were born in 
Germany and after their marriage came to 
the United States. They were among the 
earliest German immigrants to Adams coun- 
ty and located in French township. They 
settled on and cleared a farm and lived on 
it, following farming until their deaths. Mr. 
Liechty died October 12, 1881, at the age 
of seventy-three, and his wife died Septem- 
ber 18, 1900, at the age of eighty-three. 
Nine children have been born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Huser. All of these children are liv- 
ing: with their parents and are : Emma, 
Katie. Albert, Fanny, David, Rufus, Amos, 
Levi and Vilas. 

Mr. Huser is the owner of a fine farm in 
Monroe township, consisting of two hun- 
dred acres. Almost all of this tract is cleared 
and improved and at a high state of cultiva- 
tion. He carries on a general fanning busi- 

ness and his crops are large and profitable. 
He is a progressive man and appreciates the 
advantages of modern methods and ma- 
chinery. He cultivates his estate according 
to the best principles of modem farming. 
He raises a good grade of stock and makes 
a specialty of swine and draft horses. All 
of the improvements on his place have been 
put there by Mr. Huser. His buildings are 
excellent. His home is large and modern in 
all respects and his barn is a large structure 
one hundred by forty feet. He also has a 
sheep barn forty-one by forty feet. His 
place is well drained and fenced and is one 
of the most valuable estates in the township. 
In politics he is a Democrat and he takes 
an interest in the affairs of his township. He 
is a public-spirited man and has done much 
to improve conditions in his neighborhood. 
He is an advocate of good roads and has 
been instrumental in improving the roads 
of his section of the county. Fie has served 
his fellow residents of Monroe township in 
public office and is at present a trustee, to 
which office he was elected in 1904. He is 
engaged in superintending the erection of a 
fine new school house. 


In the early decades of the nineteenth cen- 
tury John Lizar was known to the pioneers 
of northeastern Indiana as a mighty hunter 
and trapper. He took game in the very 
woods that later became the property of and 
the homestead of his grandson. Before he 
died he used to tell of the days in the frontier 
of the northwest, and of die times he hauled 
his grain to the old water mill at Saint 



Mary's. The grandson of this hunter and 
farmer is William T. Waggoner. He was 
born in Lexington, Richland county, Ohio, 
March 12, 1S57. He is the son of Henry 
R. and Sarah (Lizar) Waggoner. Both of 
his parents were born in Pennsylvania, 
where they were married, and went to Ohio. 
Later, in 1855, they moved to Lexington, 
and it was here that William was born. In 
addition to his other business Henry Wag- 
goner made wagons. He had learned this 
trade in his youth and followed it many 
years. In 1S65 he concluded to move to In- 
diana. Accordingly he sold his Ohio prop- 
erty and migrated across the border of the 
neighboring state. He settled in Blue Creek 
township, Adams county. His farm was 
covered with woods and was unimproved. 
Soon after corning to Indiana he secured 
work at his trade in the plant of the Schack- 
ley Wheel Company at Decatur. He re- 
mained with this firm until the plant was de- 
stroyed by an explosion in 1 871. After this 
plant was destroyed he ran a wagon shop in 
Blue Creek township until 1893, when he 
removed to Berne, Adams county, where he 
lived a retired life. After his wife's death, 
March 10, 1S98, he gave up his residence in 
Berne and made his home with one or the 
other of his children until his own death, 
September 16, 1905. 

He was married twice and had three chil- 
dren by his first wife. His second wife was 
the mother of the subject of tin's sketch and 
bore her husband eight children. Henry 
Waggoner was a respected man and an es- 
teemed citizen. He voted the Republican 
ticket and was a member of the Christian 

William Waggoner was reared on the 
Blue Creek township farm. He received as 

good an education as it was possible to get 
in the section of the state where he w;is 
brought up at that time. When he grew 
to manhood he worked at the trade of 
wagon-making for a time; later gave this up 
and devoted all his time to farming. He has 
owned his present place of ninety acres for 
twenty-seven years. He also owned forty 
acres in Blue Creek township for a time, but 
disposed of this tract in 1905. He served 
one term, from 1889 to 1893, as postmaster 
of Berne. When his term was ended he re- 
turned to his farm in Monroe township and 
resumed farming. He owns one of the best 
improved and most attractive places in the 
township. He has put all of the improve- 
ments on the place himself and has built 
almost all of the buildings on his farm. 
These are modern and substantial and the 
farm is admirably fenced and drained and 
is at a high point of productiveness. In ad- 
dition to general farming he raises shorthorn 
cattle, Berkshire hogs and Shropshire sheep. 
He also raises horses for the market and he 
sells numbers. 

Mr. Waggoner was married to Miss Julia 
A. Hedington in 1877. His wife is a daugh- 
ter of Laben and Sarah (Daniels) Heding- 
ton, who are natives of Mount Vernon, 
Ohio. No children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Waggoner. He is a good neighbor 
and a highly respected citizen. He takes an 
active part in the affairs of his community, 
but has not served as a public officer. 

He is a member of the lodge of Knights oi 
Pythias at Berne and is active in promoting 
the welfare and prestige of this order. ^ itn 
his wife he is a member of the Christian 
church and sub^ribes heartily to the aim- of 
this denomination. 




losepb Tohnson Dailey is a native of 
\i!ams county. He was born in that county 
March I, 1847. He is a son of James and 
Man" (Johnson) Dailey. On his mother's 
vi«!e he can trace his ancestry back to the 
Mavflower, when the first of the family of 
rh it-name came to this country. His father 
»\.is born at Athens, Ohio, in 181 5, and his 
mother was born in Harrison county of the 
Same state. After their marriage in Ohio 
fames and Mary Dailey migrated to Indi- 
ana. They purchased land in Saint Mary's 
township and were among the first settlers 
in this part of Adams county. They lived 
«>ii their farm and cultivated it until the 
<!e;ith of James Dailey in 1863. Mrs. Dailey 
survived her husband some years and lived 
until 1885. This couple were the parents of 
dead, as is also Samantha, the eighth in 
Kill living. The eldest child, Nimrod, is 
read, as is also Samantha, the eighth in 
point of birth. The survivors are: Davis, 
Mary, J. J,, Amy, Emly, Margaret, James 
and Easias. The two last named are twins. 

Of this family J. J. Dailey was the fourth 
l>orn. He spent his early life on the family 
farm in Saint Mary's township. His life 
was not unlike that of the average boy 
raised in northeastern Indiana in the pioneer 
days. He attended the winter sessions of 
the schools of his neighborhood and secured 
as good an education as the times and cir- 
cumstances perHfitted. In the months be- 
tween school terms he assisted in the cultiva- 
Jioii of his father's farm and under the guid- 
•"•"ce of his father became in time a success- 
ful and skilled agriculturist. In 1S73 he de- 
cided to make a start for himself independent 
of ins father, and in line with this idea he 

purchased his present farm in Blue Creek 
township. This was a tract of eighty acres 
and was splendidly located. He now owns 
two hundred and forty acres. He chose for 
his wife in 1873 Miss Samantha Robinson, 
who was a daughter of Abram and Nancy 
(Zimmerman) Robinson. Her parents were 
among the old settlers of the county and 
were .large landowners. Her father was a 
farmer and was one of the most prosperous 
in the county. Both of her parents are dead. 

After his marriage Mr. Dailey set to work 
to clear and improve his farm. The land 
was practically virgin soil and the task of 
getting it under cultivation was a huge one. 
However, he was filled with the determina- 
tion to succeed, and it was not long before 
he had the greater portion of his farm under 
cultivation and crops being raised each year 
at a profit. As the years progressed he im- 
proved his place. He ditched it and drained 
it thoroughly and built substantial fences. 
He improved the buildings that were on the 
farm and added to the house. He also 
erected a large barn, ninety by forty-seven 
feet, and built other out buildings. In addi- 
tion to cultivating the land, he raises stock. 
His breeds of Durham cattle and Duroc 
swine are famous over the county and he 
raises good strains of Shropshire sheep. Al- 
together, his place is one of the most valua- 
ble in the county and it is kept along lines of 
modernity and the best farm practice. Apart 
from his business of farming he takes an 
interest in the affairs of his county. He is 
a Republican, but has never held office and 
does not aspire to any. He is a member of 
the Knights of Pythias. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dailey are the parents of 
twelve children. These are: Elmira, 
Nanny, Esaias, Mary, Mabel, Leina and 



Leona (twins), Viola, Wilmia and Wildus 
(twins), Stanton and Stanley (twins). 


The parents of A. B. Daugherty were 
among the earliest settlers in Adams county. 
His father was Andrew Daugherty, who 
was born in Maryland in 1805. His mother 
was Jane (Montgomery) Daugherty, who 
was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1S10. 
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Daugherty were mar- 
ried in Ohio August 23, 1832. They lived 
a few years in Ohio after their marriage and 
then the husband came to Indiana and en- 
tered land in 1836. Three years later he 
returned to Ohio and brought his family 
with him to Indiana. He was the father of 
six children : Leonard, Hester A., Oliver 
S., Alvin W., Angeline and Andrew B. The 
latter child, who is the subject of this sketch, 
was the youngest of his father's family. He 
was reared on the original forty-acre farm 
his father entered from the government. It 
was located in Root township and was the 
home of the elder Daugherty until his death, 
October 1, 1896. During his life the elder 
Daugherty had added to his land holdings, 
and at his death he owned one hundred and 
twenty acres. He was a successful farmer 
and his estate at his death was well improved 
and at a most productive stage. 

The marriage of Mr. Daugherty and Miss 
Jemima Evans was solemnized January 26, 
1870. His wife is a daughter of Robert and 
Elizabeth (Sparks) Evans. Her parents 
were natives of Ohio. Five children have 
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty. 
These children are: Blanche E., the wife of 

George Laughrey, a school teacher of Cice- 
ro, Indiana; Lizzie I., the wife Clyde Davis; 
Claude D., employed in a store al Col- 
fax, Indiana ; True, a student at Purdue 
University at Lafayette, Indiana, and Fan- 
chion, who is a student at the Decatur high 
school and lives at home. 

As a general farmer Mr. Daugherty is 
one of the most successful in his section of 
the county. His farm consists of eighty 
acres, all under cultivation, and he raises ex- 
cellent crops each year which he sells at a 
handsome profit. He has improved his farm 
from time to time and its appearance today 
is a delight to the eye of the beholder. The 
broad fields are enclosed by fine fences and 
the house and other buildings on the estate 
are modem and in excellent repair. Con- 
sidered as a whole the farm is one of the 
most valuable and finest country homes in 
the county. The satisfaction of looking at 
his productive property and realizing 'that 
what is revealed is the result of his own la- 
bors is Mr. Daugherty's. He has led an in- 
dustrious life and he has made the most of 
all opportunities that presented themselves 
to him. He is a wide-awake man and takes 
an interest in the affairs of his county and 
township. He is interested in all movements 
that are designed to elevate the community 
in which he lives or to add to its commer- 
cial prosperity. He contributes liberally to 
all such movements, and is a valuable citi- 
zen and a good neighbor. He is a member 
of the Knights tof Pythias, but is not to be 
considered as a public man in any sense of 
the word. He and the members of his fam- 
ily are members of the Lutheran church and 
he contributes generously to this denomina- 
tion and to its objects. In politics he is a 




William L. Randenbush was born in Al- 
len county near the city of Fort Wayne, 
[afluary 28, 1862. He is a son of Isaac and 
Anna M. (Shaffer) Randenbush. His 
father was a native of Pennsylvania, who 
came to Indiana and lived for a time in Elk- 
h.-'rt county. His mother also lived in this 
county for some years. After their mar- 
riage his parents removed to Allen county 
and settled near Fort Wayne. They resided 
in Allen county for some years and in i860 
came to Adams county. They located on a 
farm in Washington township, where he 
died in 1874. His wife survived him many 
years, her death occurring March 4, 1907. 
Six children were born to this estimable 
couple: George, Mary, Clara, Dayton, El- 
len and William L. The two last named are 

While the elder Randenbush was a farmer 
in his later life, he learned the trade of a 
blacksmith in his young manhood and 
worked at this trade for several years. He 
was a Republican, but never held any public 
office. He and his wife were members of 
the Evangelical church. 

William Randenbush was reared on his 
father's farm in Allen and Adams counties. 
He attended the public schools of his districts 
and secured a good English education. He 
learned what it meant to be a farmer and the 
busy life he led assisting his father in the cul- 
tivation of his farm prepared him for the la- 
bor of a like kind he was destined to do on 
his own estate. When he reached his ma- 
jority he started out for himself. He 
worked in various sections of the county as 
> hired helper for several years and out of 
his monthly earnings he saved money. He 

was frugal and of a saving nature and it was 
not long before he had accumulated enough 
money to invest in a farm for himself. 

In 1885 he was married to Miss Delia 
Reynolds, a daughter of Elisha and Sarah 
(Roe) Reynolds. Her parents were among 
the older residents of Adams county and her 
father was born in that county. He is a 
plasterer by trade and followed that business 
for many years. He is still living in Deca- 
tur. Two children have been born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Randenbush — Rolla E. and Alma 
L. Both children live with their parents. 

Mr. Randenbush is the owner of one hun- 
dred and six acres of land. He secured his 
present property in 1902. It was partially 
improved when he purchased it, but he has 
added many improvements since it came into 
his possession. He has almost all of his 
place under cultivation and it is well drained 
and equipped with buildings and fences. Fie 
raises a good quality of stock and hogs. He 
is a Republican so far as his politics are con- 
cerned, and has served as a trustee of his 
home township, Blue Creek. Other than 
this he has not held office. He takes' an ac- 
tive interest in county and township affairs, 
but devotes most of his time to the cultiva- 
tion of his farm. He is a successful farmer 
and his crops are usually excellent and dis- 
posed of at a profit. 



Thomas H. Baltzell, who is numbered 
among Adams county's successful farmers 
and stock breeders, is a native of this coun- 
ty, having been born in Blue Creek town- 
ship on December 20, 1856. He is a son of 



John and Rebecea J. (Ruby) Baltzell. John 
Baltzell was born in Ohio and in an early 
day came to Adams county, locating on a 
farm in Blue Creek township. For a few 
years he followed blacksmithing and also 
bought and sold timber, and followed other 
occupations. He was the father of six chil- 
dren, namely: Thomas H., subject of this 
sketch ; Theresa, Belle, Emma, Dayton and 
Amanda. In politics he was a Democrat, 
though he never held public office. He died 
in 18S0, his wife dying while the subject of 
this sketch was quite young. 

Thomas H. Baltzell received a common 
school education and has practically given 
his entire attention to farming and kindred 
pursuits. He obtained his present farm in 
a rough and unimproved condition, but by 
dint of persistent and strenuous personal en- 
deavor he has converted it into one of the 
choicest farms in his county. He is the 
owner of two hundred and sixty acres of 
land, about two hundred and forty acres of 
which are under the plow, and devotes a 
large share of his time to the breeding of 
thoroughbred Shropshire sheep and Berk- 
shire hogs, in which enterprise he has been 
very successful. He has also given some 
attention to public works, having contracted 
for several large ditches in the county, all 
of which he successfully completed. 

On September 22, 1882, Mr. Baltzell was 
united in marriage with Miss Emma J. An- 
drews, daughter of T. H. and Sarah (Little) 
Andrews, the former of whom was a native 
of Ohio and came to Indiana in an early day, 
where he followed fanning the remainder 
of his life. They were the parents of six 
children, namely: Marion, Anna, Emma, 
Morton, Martha A. and Emma, who is now- 
deceased. To the subject and his wife have 

been born nine children, namely: Vaughn, 
Walter T., Theresa, Ruth, Electa, John, 
Dent, Victor and Crystal. Mr. Baltzell is a 
Democrat and takes an active interest in all 
public matters of his county. 


In a time that is now recalled and remem- 
bered by few men living in Adams county 
today Daniel Weldy began life in the north- 
eastern part of Indiana. He lives in the same 
section of the state today, and as he looks 
back over the flight of years he sees remark- 
able changes and in each can point to the 
work he has accomplished in developing his 
county and community. He is one of the 
remarkable characters of his section of the 
state. He is essentially a product of pioneer 
days. His personality is rugged and whole- 
some, and his part in life has been played 
with fearlessness and honesty. He is one of 
three survivors of a family of twelve chil- 
dren born to his parents. His birth occurred 
in Fairfield county, Ohio, on October 3. 1822. 
His parents were Peter and Susanna (Hud- 
dle) Weldy. His father was a native of 
Pennsylvania and his mother of Virginia. 
His father was a farmer who braved the 
Ohio wilderness in the days soon after the 
war for independence and made a home in 
the trackless forests. He lived in the state 
of his adoption until his death in 1877. 

Daniel Weldy came to Adams county in 
1S45. He secured land in Kirkland town- 
ship when that section of the county was in 
a wild state. The eighty acres of land he 
purchased was in the woods and the hand 
of man had done nothing to make them pro- 



ductive. However, Daniel faced his future 
without faltering. He hewed logs and built 
a rude cabin and began to clear the land. At 
ihe time wild game abounded in the forests, 
and many birds and animals fell prey to his 
unerring rifle. He was a keen sportsman 
and his skill as a hunter was one of the 
points of his younger years in the state. 
Once established in his new home he began 
to contribute his full share to the develop- 
ment of the county. He was an active, wide- 
awake man and knew what it meant to form 
a new country. The necessities of life were 
obtainable, but something more than the 
mere necessities were what the pioneer citi- 
zens had come for. Education was a neces- 
sity and he realized the great advantages 
that would come to future generations 
through this medium. As trustee of Kirk- 
land township he erected the first log school- 
house in that township and in his long and 
useful life he was foremost in promoting edu- 
cational facilities. He served his fellow cit- 
izens of Adams county and of his own town- 
ship in a number of public capacities. He 
was a trusted public servant. He was a 
trustee of Kirkland township for fifteen 
years, a justice of the peace in the same 
township for eleven years, a member of the 
county commissioners for six years and a 
supervisor for a long term. During his in- 
cumbency of these offices he built school 
houses, pikes, and in many other ways con- 
tributed substantially to the improvement 
and development of the county. During all 
of these years he continued to live on his 
original farm. - In all_ he spent fifty-seven 
years on his farm, and brought it to the very 
acme of fertility. He built comfortable and 
substantial buildings, drained the land thor- 

oughly and has made of it one of the most 
valuable farms in the entire county. 

Mr. Weldy was married to Miss Eliza- 
beth Beery, a daughter of Joseph and Bar- 
bara (Miller) Beery. His wife's parents 
lived in Fairfield county, Ohio, and died 
there. Eleven children were bom to Mr. 
and Mrs. Weldy. These are: Christian, 
Seth. William, Barbara, Sarah, Mary, Abra- 
ham, Rachael, Ellen, Daniel and Eli. 

In 1900 Mr. Weldy moved to Decatur 
and built a fine home on First street, where 
he still resides. He was at one time one of 
the largest land owners in Adams county, 
possessing more than eight hundred acres, 
located in three townships. He sold this 
land later. As a farmer he was a success- 
ful man. He raised much valuable stock, 
making a specialty of Berkshire and Poland 
China hogs and general purpose horses. He 
has been a member of the Independent Or- 
der of Odd Fellows for more than forty 
years, becoming a member of this frater- 
nity in 1863. 


Among the present residents of Adams 
county who can claim to be in reality old 
residents is James Wagner. Less than half 
of the last century had been told when he 
came to Indiana. It is true that he was but 
a small lad when he came, but that does not 
invalidate the claim that he was one of the 
pioneers and is still one of the oldest settlers 
of this county. He was born in Fairfield 
county, Ohio, near the town of Lancaster, 
November 10, 1834. His parents were John 
N. and Elizabeth (La Clear) Wagner. Both 



were born in France and migrated to Amer- 
ica in 1834. They lived for the first five 
years after their arrival in this country in 
Fairfield county, Ohio, and then came to 
Indiana. In 1S45 the elder Wagner pur- 
chased land in Adams county, and this land 
is in possession of James, his son, today. 

Indiana land was not an attractive propo- 
sition to the pioneers of the early decades of 
the nineteenth century when viewed from the 
standpoint of physical beauty. The land was 
a wilderness infested with wild beasts, and 
the pioneers had a serious problem confront- 
ing them. The land secured by John Wag- 
ner was not better than any other. It was 
covered with timber and altogether unim- 
proved. However, he erected the customary 
log cabin and began to create a farm. His 
labors were hard and he did not live to see 
his land the fine tract it is today. He died 
two years after reaching Adams county, 
leaving a widow and two boys. The sons 
were little fellows at the time of their 
father's death, but they were determined to 
help their mother and did all they could to 
improve the place. As they grew to man- 
hood they added from time to time the neces- 
sary improvements and erected better build- 
ings than those of their early days. Fences 
were stretched along the fields and the neces- 
sary tiling was laid and ditches constructed 
to drain the area that was swampy or other- 
wise too moist for cultivation. The place, 
which consisted of one hundred and twenty 
acres, was gradually brought under cultiva- 
tion and today all is in tine shape. Eight 
acres of timber land are preserved because 
of the fine quality of the timber on it. 

In 1855 James Wagner was married to 
Lydia L. Martz, a daughter of Henry and 

Catherine (Lydic) Martz. Her father was. 
a native of Maryland and her mother was 
born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania. They 
came to Indiana and settled in the Adams 
county wilderness in 1S38. They bought 
land in Monroe township and lived there un- 
til their deaths. Mr. Martz died in 1870 and 
his wife survived him twelve years and died 
in 1883. Thirteen children came to bless 
the union of James Wagner and Lydia 
Martz. Of these children nine are still liv- 
ing. Those living are: Mary, now Mrs. 
Andrews, of Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth, 
now Mrs. Middleton, resides in Arkansas; 
Louisa, now Mrs. Hunter, of Decatur; 
Nicholas, a farmer in Washington town- 
ship; Ella, now Mrs. Estell, of Cincinnati, 
Ohio; Eva, now Mrs. Dimond, of Hartford, 
Connecticut; Angie, now Mrs. Peterson, re- 
siding on the home farm; Leonard, residing' 
in Fort Wayne ; Jesse, residing in Fort 
Wayne. Those dead are: Emily, Rena, 
Frank and Ida. 

The entire life of Mr. Wagner has been 
spent on the family homestead. He has 
grown up with his township and has wit- 
nessed and taken part in many changes that 
have come about. He is a public-spirited 
man and enjoys the esteem and fullest confi- 
dence of his fellow men. He has served his 
neighbors in public capacities several years 
and has been a supervisor. He is an en- 
thusiastic member of the Horse Thief De- 
tective Association and other bodies devoted 
to the improvement and protection of the 
district. He votes an independent ticket, 
favoring the man rather than the party. 
With the members of his family he is a re- 
ligious man and a supporter of" churches. 
His home is pleasant and most comfortable. 




Herman W. Sellemeycr is a native of 
Adams county, having been born in Preble 
township July 14, 1S59. He was the fifth 
in order of birth of a family of six children 
born to his parents, Ernst and Christina 
(Oeting) Sellenieyer. His father was born 
in Germany in 181 2 and died in 1891. His 
mother is still living with one of her sons 
and has reached the advanced age of eighty- 
nine years. The children of the elder Selle- 
meyer who are living are: Louise, William, 
who operates the homestead; Erederick, a 
resident of Decatur; H. \V., the subject of 
this sketch, and August, a lumberman. The 
boyhood home of Mr. Sellemeyer was on his 
father's farm. He attended the schools of 
the district and picked up as complete and 
satisfactory an education as the times and 
conditions permitted. In the summer 
months he worked on his father's farm and 
learned the lessons that agriculture teaches. 
He was an industrious boy and mastered the 
principles that he applied to his credit and 
financial success later in his life. 

The marriage of Mr. Sellemeyer and Miss 
Savilla Kohler was celebrated April 17, 
1S84. The bride was a daughter of John P. 
and Mary Ann (Steiner) Kohler. Her 
father was a native of Switzerland, from 
which country he came to the United States 
early in the last century. Mrs. Sellemeyer 
was one of a family of eleven children born 
to her parents. Of this large family Peter 
and Mrs. Sellemeycr are living. William, 
John, Philip, Celestina, Calvin, Mary, Jo- 
sephine, DanieUand Edward are dead. John 
Kohler after coming to America located for 
a time in the east. Later he removed to 
Wayne county, Ohio, where he lived and 

farmed for about five years. In 185S he 
disposed of his Ohio place and removed with 
his family to Indiana. He purchased land 
in French township, Adams county, and con- 
tinued to farm. In addition to his work on 
the farm he followed his trades of mason 
and plasterer and added to his income each 
year through the medium of the work he did. 
for various farmers of the township. His 
wife lived on the Indiana homestead and was 
a faithful and able helpmate to her hus- 
band until her demise. She died in 1890. 
After the death of his wife Mr. Kohler lived, 
with his daughter and Mr. Sellemeyer until 
his own death, March 9, 1900. He was 
one of the most highly respected men of the 
township and his life had been of great ben- 
efit to the community in which he lived. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sellemeyer are the parents 
of three children, all of whom are living. 
The eldest, Emma, is one of the best-known 
educators of Adams county. She is a 
woman of much initiative and has had a 
most successful career as a teacher. At 
present she is teaching in the primary grades 
of the public schools at Decatur. A seconJ 
daughter, Matilda, is also a teacher and is 
at present one of the teachers of the Preble 
school in Preble township. Agnes, the 
youngest daughter, is attending the schools 
of her home district. In addition to his 
three daughters Mr. Sellemeyer has given a 
home and a parent's consideration and affec- 
tion to Hulda Bauer. 

The estate owned by Mr. Sellemeyer con- 
sists of seventy-five acres, all well improved 
and at a high stage of fertility and pro- 
ductiveness. He has practically made all of 
the improvements on his place without out- 
side aid. He has lived on it continuously 
for twenty-one years. Two years of his life 



he spent working in a saw mill in Decatur 
before coming to his present farm. He 
takes an interested part in the affairs of his 
community. He is a member of the Demo- 
cratic party, but has never held or aspired to 
public office. He and his wife are members 
of the German Reformed church at Decatur 
and are earnest supporters of this denomina- 


George Zehr, an enterprising and suc- 
cessful farmer of Wabash township, Adams 
county. Indiana, is a native of Germany, 
where he was born on November n, 1842, 
and is a son of Jacob and (Stein- 
man) Zehr. These parents were agricul- 
turists and never left the fatherland. 

George Zehr obtained a good education in 
the public schools of his native land and in 
1866, in order to better his financial interests, 
emigrated to America and located in Wayne 
county, Ohio, where he lived for two years, 
and then removed to Adams county, where 
Tie spent a year working at the carpenter 
trade. Subsequently he located in McLain 
county, Illinois, and also spent three years 
in Taswell and Livingston counties, Illinois. 
In 1872 he returned to Adams county and 
bought a farm of ninety-two acres, located 
"in section 19, Wabash township, which at 
that time was densely covered with timber 
excepting a tract of about ten acres. For a 
■number of years their home was in a log 
cabin, but in 1887 this was replaced by a 
splendid two-story frame^ residence, fol- 
lowed two years later by the erection of a 
large barn, a large part of the carpenter 
work on both buildings having been done by 

Mr. Zehr. Today he owns as good a farm 
as can be found in Adams county, having 
put upon it many substantia! and permanent 
improvements. In addition to agriculture 
he gives considerable attention to the raising 
of live stock, in which he has been success- 

In 1872 Mr. Zehr married Miss Lydia 
Roth, daughter of Christian and Mary 
(Hirschy) Roth, the father a native of 
France and the mother of Switzerland. They 
came to America separately many years ago 
and settled in Adams county, Indiana, where 
they subsequently resided until death. Mrs. 
Zehr was born in French township, Adams 
county, and was here reared and received 
her education. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Zehr 
have been born ten children, namely : Chris- 
tian, David, Jacob, Mary and Sarah (twins), 
Rosa, Enos, Simeon, William and Lillie, 
now deceased. The family are members of 
the Mennonite church and take an active in- 
terest in everything that tends to the up- 
building' of the community. 


Daniel Beeler was born in Butler county, 
Ohio, near the present city of Hamilton in 
1S54. He is the son of William and Mar- 
garet (Burcaw) Beeler. His father was a 
native of the Keystone State, where he was 
born in 1S17. His mother was born in Ham- 
ilton in 1822. William Beeler came from 
Pennsylvania to Ohio when a young man 
and followed his trade of carpenter for 
some time. He purchased land and" added 
fanning to his calling. After a residence of 
some vears in Ohio he removed to Indiana 



and purchased land in Wabash township, 
Adams county. This land he cultivated for 
;i number of years and then he disposed of 
h and purchased a farm in Jefferson town- 
ship. His wife died February 6, 1900, and 
his death occurred in June, 1905. He was 
an esteemed man and left a record that 
showed him to be an exemplary citizen. 

Daniel Beeler followed the fortunes of his 
father for the years succeeding his birth. 
He was educated in the common schools of 
the day and learned the art of agriculture. 
There was nothing about his early life that 
made it differ materially from the lives of 
the average boys of his time. He worked 
hard and his pleasures were the rude pas- 
times of his pioneer neighborhood. After 
reaching his majority Daniel Beeler mar ; 
ried Miss Rachael Hilleary, a daughter of 
Enos and Rachael (Rickner) Hilleary. Her 
father was a native of Virginia and her 
mother of Licking county, Ohio. Mr. Hil- 
leary was a carpenter and followed this work 
in addition to agriculture. He spent his life 
in Ohio, never coming to Indiana, and died 
in that former state in about 1876. His wife 
died three years before his own death oc- 
curred. After his marriage Mr. Beeler de- 
voted all of his attention to agriculture. He 
improved his farm from time to time. He 
constructed ditches and laid tiling as it be- 
came necessary and so reduced the greater 
part of his homestead to cultivation. As the 
needs of his farm and its increased pro- 
ductiveness presented themselves, he erected 
better and larger buildings and now has his 
original estate equipped with a fine home, 
substantial barn and other buildings. His 
fences are strong and kept in excellent re- 
pair, and altogether his estate is one of the 
best improved and most attractive in Adams 

county. He owns a total of one hundred 
and sixty-seven acres in this and Jay 
county, Indiana, and almost the whole of 
these two farms are under cultivation. Mr. 
Beeler conducts a general farming business. 
He rotates his crops with judgment and ap- 
plies modern methods in tilling the soil. In 
addition to his general farming business he 
raises much stock. His breeds of cattle, 
horses, sheep and hogs are of a high stand- 
ard and are sold at profitable prices. 

In matters apart from business he is a 
man wide awake. He takes an interest in 
public affairs and in all matters affecting the 
general good. He is a member of the Pro- 
hibition party and gives this organization 
his support, but he has never been a candi- 
date for political office. He is an esteemed 
citizen and with his wife supports the United 
Brethren church. Four children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Beeler: Eva J., the 
wife of James Armstrong, a farmer of 
Washington township; Delia, the wife of 
Wilson Hollingsworth, and Samuel E. and 
May G., living with their parents. 


Charles Armstrong was born April 20, 
1856, in Adams county, Indiana. He is the 
son of Stephen and Miriam (Nelson) Arm- 
strong. His father was bom in New Lon- 
don county, Connecticut, almost within 
hearing of the waves of Long Island Sound. 
The elder Armstrong came to Indiana in 
1852 and settled on the farm that is the pres- 
ent home of his son Charles. This tract is 
located in Wabash township and on it the 
elder Armstrong followed general farming 



and live stock raising - . He had a family of 
ten children, seven of whom are still living. 
He died in 1885. His wife, the mother of 
the subject of this brief sketch, is still liv- 
ing at the home of her son and has reached 
the advanced age of seventy-two years. His 
mother was a native of Fairfield county, 
Ohio, and came to Indiana when three years 
■of age with her parents. When they reached 
their land in this township they found In- 
dians living on it. 

The Armstrong' brothers are the owners 
of three hundred and forty-eighty acres of 
farm land in Adams county. All of this 
land is under cultivation and the brothers 
follow a general farming business, at which 
they have been uniformly successful. In ad- 
dition to raising crops that are profitable the 
brothers raise much stock. Their strains of 
shorthorn cattle, Duroc and Poland China 
bogs and horses are among the best in this 
section of the state. They take especial pride 
in their breeds of stock, and are continually 
improving the strains. The greater part of 
the work of clearing the original place this 
family occupied in Adams county fell upon 
Charles. His father had the misfortune to 
be an invalid and partially incapacitated for 
manual labor. Young Charles, as a result, 
went to work in the fields of his father's 
farm almost as soon as he was tall enough 
to grasp the handles of a plow. He worked 
earnestly and faithfully and much of the 
fertility and productiveness of the place to- 
day is due to his labors and faithful atten- 
tion to the management of the farm. 

Mr. Armstrong is one of the most highly 
respected men of his community. He is a 
man who is alive to the needs of his town- 
ship, and is one of the most earnest in work- 
ing for these needs. In politics he is a Dem- 

ocrat, but in county and township affairs is 
guided in his voting by the qualifications of 
the man for the office rather than any party 
dictum. His farm is well improved and is 
one of the best in the neighborhood. He 
has the credit for all the improvements, and 
can say that it indicates the work of an in- 
telligent and consistent worker. He is not 
a member of any lodge. The entire family 
of Armstrongs were Christian people, mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian and Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. Mrs. Arm- 
strong, mother of our subject, has 
lived longer in this neighborhood than any- 
one else living. Their only neighbors were 
Indians. The first year they lived here all 
their cattle were killed by wolves. They en- 
dured many hardships and for the first few 
years lived on wild game. 


It is said that there was a time during the 
residence of Henry Miller in Adams county 
when he knew personally every man in his 
home township. It is certain today that 
there is no better known man, or for that 
matter one more highly esteemed than Hen- 
ry Miller within the confines of the commu- 
nity in wdiich be has spent his life. He was 
born in Licking county, Ohio, December 29. 
183S. His parents were Isaac and Sarah 
(Knepper) Miller. His father was born in 
Virginia and was the son of Peter Miller. 
His mother was born in Pennsylvania. They 
came to Ohio about the same time and after 
their marriage lived in Licking county until 
their deaths. The early life of Hetwy Mil- 
ler was spent on his parents" homestead in 



Ohio. He obtained a fair education in the 
schools of his neighborhood and in 1S59 
came to Indiana. He purchased a farm in 
Wabash township, which he still owns. 
When he bought his land it was heavily 
wooded and had to be cleared before it could 
be made productive. He labored at the task 
of clearing the land, and when a portion was 
cleared he returned to Ohio. After spend- 
ing two years in Ohio he came back to Wa- 
bash township. He resumed the work of 
clearing his tract of one hundred and twen- 
ty-five acres and in time accomplished this. 
However, he permitted thirteen acres to re- 
main in timber and pasturage. The farm 
is today one of the best and most attractive 
in the township. The residence on it and 
the barns are in excellent shape and are thor- 
oughly modern. The fencing is strong and 
ample, and Mr. Miller has laid about fifteen 
hundred rods of tiling. In every respect the 
farm is productive and profitable and has 
been brought to a high state of fertility and 

The marriage of Mr. Miller and Miss 
Naomi Nelson was celebrated in i860. Be- 
fore her death Mrs. Miller bore her husband 
seven children : Emma. Mary, William, 
Franklin, Carrie, James and Isaac, who died 
in infancy. Following the death of his first 
wife Mr. Miller contracted another mar- 
riage in 1872. His bride this time was Miss 
Martha Boehm, a daughter of Barnett and 
Sarah (Huddle) Boehm. His wife's parents 
came to Indiana from Virginia and settled 
on a farm in Wabash township, Adams 
county. Later they moved to Jay county, 
where they lived until their deaths. As the 
result of this .marriage eight children were 
boni: Katie O., John A., Howard, Tilden, 
Barney, Nellie, Vernon and Goldie. 

Mr. Miller's life has been a busy one, filled 
with energetic work. He was employed at 
times during fifteen years of his life in 
Adams county as a carpenter and helped in 
the construction of many of the buildings 
in the county. He has brought his farm to 
a model basis, and he enjoys a comfortable 
competence. In addition to tilling his acres 
he raises stock. His farm is well provided 
with good grades of shorthorn cattle and 
Poland China hogs and these he sells at ex- 
cellent prices. He is a man who takes an 
interested part in the things that are going 
on about him. He is an active worker for 
all measures that mean the improvement of 
his neighborhood, and although giving his 
complete allegiance to no party has served 
ten years as a trustee of Wabash township. 
He affiliates with no lodge, but is an active 
and consistent member of the Disciples' 
church. He is a respected citizen and a good 
neighbor, and his advice and counsel are fre- 
quently sought by his fellows. 

J. L. LOVE. 

J. L. Love was born in Wayne county, 
Indiana, May 21, 1S50. His parents were 
among the earlier settlers of Wayne county, 
coming to Indiana in 1830. John Love, the 
father of J. L., was a native of North Caro- 
lina and his mother, who was Harriett Scott, 
was bora in Virginia. The boyhood of J. 
L. Love was spent near the village of Wil- 
liamsburg on a farm. He was one of a fam- 
ily of eleven children, but three of whom 
survive. His education was- obtained in the 
district schools and his life was not marked 
by incidents other than are encountered by 



the average boy who was a son of pioneer 
parents. He worked on his father's farm 
and in addition learned the business of a 
carpenter. When he grew to manhood he 
decided to make a start for himself. His 
fathed died in Wayne county in 1873 and 
the following year his son was married to 
Rachel Baldwin, a daughter of Thomas and 
Diadema (Tigle) Baldwin. Like the father 
of Mr. Love, his wife's father was a native 
of North Carolina. Her mother was born 
in Wayne county, but the family lived in 
Randolph county, of which section of Indi- 
ana they were old settlers. Following his 
marriage to Miss Baldwin, Mr. Love decid- 
ed to move to Adams county. He did this 
and purchased a farm of sixty acres, all but 
five of which are now under cultivation. 
This farm has been cultivated and improved 
by Mr. Love since he came inco possession 
of it in 1SS6, and is a valuable piece of 

After reaching Adams county he turned 
his attention to carpenter work. He devel- 
oped this business until it became a source 
of great profit. He took contracts for the 
erection of buildings and became one of the 
most successful and best known builders of 
the county. Among the structures that stand 
as monuments to his ability are several 
school buildings in various parts of Adams 
county. In addition to these buildings he 
has planned and erected many large barns 
on various farms of the county. His work 
in all particulars has given the utmost sat- 
isfaction and has been of a high order. 

Mr. and Mrs. Love have become the par- 
ents of seven children: Clayton and Alfred, 
living in Randolph county; John, an < d well 
driller of Geneva; Orlie, who lost his life in 
a railroad accident; Mary, married and liv- 

ing in Ceylon; Nora, married and living in 
Lafayette, and Maud, married and living 
near Geneva. Mr. Love is a member of the 
Republican party and an enthusiastic worker 
in its interests. He has not aspired to office 
but has ever had the good of his party at 
heart. He is an earnest and esteemed mem- 
ber of the Beme Lodge, Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and with his family wor- 
ships with the Friends congregation. 


A few years following the close of the 
war for American Independence a man who 
had followed the fortunes of the Conti- 
nental arms under General Washington as 
a soldier left his home in eastern Pennsylva- 
nia and traveled to Ohio. His object was 
to establish a new home in the Northwest 
Territory. This soldier of Washington was 
James Long and he settled in Warren coun- 
ty, Ohio. He made a home and cleared a 
farm and in the due course of time became 
the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. 
James Lang was accompanied by a boy, his 
son, and this boy, Robert Long, was the 
father of Lewis. Robert Long was born in 
1787 and lived with his father on the Ohio 
farm until he grew up. He decided to come 
to Indiana, which was then a Mecca for ad- 
venturous pioneers, and did come in 1S16. 
He had followed his trade of cabinet-making 
in Franklin, Ohio, but believed that he 
woukl find greater opportunities in the new 
country to the westward. When he reached 
Union county the pioneer found that the land 
was covered with heavy timber and was full 
of wild game. He moved into a customary 
log cabin and proceeded to clear the land. 



In lime this was accomplished. About 1812 
Robert Long was married to Miss Mary 
KvJe. Ten children were born of this union, 
'i hey were: Sarah P., William, James, Rob- 
ert K., David, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, 
I rvis and Martha. From this it will be seen 
1 hat Lewis was the ninth child born to his 
parents. His boyhood was spent on the 
farm and he obtained a very meager educa- 
lii m in the schools of the neighborhood. His 
father became a prosperous farmer and pur- 
chased other land in the state. Among these 
was a tract in Adams county that had been 
government school land. Robert Long 
lived a number of years in Union county and 
saw the county develop and grow. He im- 
proved his land and at his death, which oc- 
curred July 8, 1855, was the owner of one 
of the best and most highly improved tracts 
in the county. His wife survived him a 
number of years and her death occurred in 
1S71. She had moved in 1857 *-° Clermont 
county, Ohio. 

It was to the Adams county land owned 
by his father that Lewis Long removed in 
1862. He was married May 29th of that year 
and brought his bride to Adams county. The 
land was rough and uncleared and the task 
of bringing it under cultivation was a huge 
undertaking. However, by industry and 
close attention he succeeded in clearing the 
greater portion of the land and in making it 
productive. His wife, who was Miss Mary 
Blair, a daughter of Charles and Catherine 
(Lang) Blair, was an able assistant to her 
husband and was a fine type of a hardy, re- 
sourceful pioneer woman. She was bom in 
Ireland, but cajne to this country when 
young. Her parents never left Ireland and 
are buried there. Mr. and Mrs. Long are 
'•'•c parents of ei^ht children, seven of whom 


are living. Charles, the eldest of the family, 
died some years ago and George B., Wii- 
liam, Eva, Russell, Alonzo, Daisy and Leona 
are living. 

Mr. Long is the owner today of a fine 
farm of one hundred and thirty-five acres. 
The land is well cleared and highly im- 
proved. The buildings are modern and ade- 
quate. The farm is well fenced and ad- 
mirably drained. The owner follows geiv 
eral farming and his crops are large and 
profitable. He raises stock and his cattle 
and Shropshire sheep and Poland China 
hogs are among the best of their breed in the 
county. He raises bronze turkeys and these 
domesticated birds are raised on the land 
where wild turkeys and other game were 
shot in the owner's early days. In addition 
to his farm work Mr. Long is an expert car- 
penter and has followed this trade for more 
than fifty years. He is a progressive man 
and one who is generally esteemed. He 
served for seven years as a justice of the 
peace and was a member of the Grange of 
his neighborhood when that body was in ex- 
istence. Llis family worship at the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church and give this denom- 
ination their hearty and generous support. 
The subject was raised a Presbyterian, but 
he never affiliated with any church. He is 
a Democrat. 


Abraham Brown, the grandfather of the 
subject of tins sketch, and the first of his 
immediate family to come to this country, 
was a native o'f Scotland and emigrated to 
America and settled in Pennsylvania. Lie 



was an industrious, thrifty man and his suc- 
cessful life was an inspiration to his de- 
scendants. He had a son also named Abra- 
ham, who became the father of John Brown. 
Abraham married Mary Reed in Pennsyl- 
vania and moved with her to Ohio, where he 
entered land from the government. He fol- 
lowed the calling of a farmer and lived in 
Ohio until his death in 1863. His wife died 
the same year. He was survived by five of 
his family often children. John Brown was 
born in Van Wert county, Ohio, November 
23, 1S53. He spent his youth on his father's 
farm and assisted in the labors incident to the 
operation and management of the farm. In 
1870 he came to Indiana and settled on one 
hundred and five acres of land, which he 
purchased in Wabash township, Adams 
county. This land under his management 
and development has come to be a very valu- 
able tract, and is still the home property of 
Mr. Brown. He improved his land and 
soon had it at a very profitable stage of cul- 
tivation. In addition to general farming he 
devoted his attention to the raising of stock 
tor shipment to the markets. This work he 
has continued and has built up a business in 
shipping cattle, hogs and sheep that is one 
of the largest and most important and profit- 
able in northeastern Indiana. As time wore 
on Mr. Brown added to his real estate hold- 
ings in the township until he has today four 
hundred and fifty acres of fine land all in 
one piece. This is situated about one and 
one half miles from Geneva and is one of 
the best improved in the entire county. All 
the improvements on the land were put there 
by Mr. Brown. .A large part of his farm is 
under cultivation and the crops that are 
grown on the land are fed to the cattle and 

hogs that are raised. These grades of cattle 
and hogs are common grades, but under the 
experienced eye and management of Mr. 
Brown become excellent for marketing- and 
are sold at the highest market prices in a 
number of localities. Mr. Brown sells all of 
his stock on foot and ships much of it to 
distant points. 

The estate owned by Mr. Brown is one 
of the finest in the county. He has erected 
a fine residence and large and commodious 
stock barns and sheds. The improvements 
that have been made arc of the very best and 
in the operation of the farm the latest ma- 
chinery and most improved and modem 
methods are employed. The place is well 
fenced and excellently drained. 

March 31, 1876, Mr. Brown married Miss 
Nettie Martin, a daughter of William and 
Caroline (Fitzsimmons) Martin. Her par- 
ents were residents of Pennsylvania origi- 
nally, but later came to Ohio and thence to 
Indiana. Five children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Brown. These children are: 
Nora, the wife of John Love, an oil man ; 
Hattie, one of twins born, now the wife of 
Wesley Dunboodie, who is a fanner em- 
ployed by Mr. Brown; Emma C, Harry. 
one of the twins, and the husband of Blanche 
Michaels, and Harvey, still at home. 

Mr. Brown is one of the most highly re- 
spected men of his community. He is inter- 
ested in all movements for the improvement 
of the township and county and is a ready 
contributor to such movements. He is a 
Republican and votes with this party on all 
subjects. Although he has never aspired to 
or sought a public office, he served for five 
years as a township trustee. He is not a 
member of any lodge. 




Although brought up on a farm on which 
he grew to manhood, Peter J. Baumgartner 
forsook the farm and engaged in a mercan- 
tile pursuit which he continues today. He 
is the owner of one of the largest and most 
complete and profitable hardware stores in 
northeastern Indiana. He is of Swiss par- 
entage. His father and mother, Peter and 
Fannie (Basinger) Baumgartner, were 
among the early pioneers of Adams county. 
The father was born in Switzerland and 
the mother in France. When they came to 
the United States they hurried to the west 
and settled in the woods. The land they 
secured was heavily timbered and wholly 
without improvements. It was the home of 
Indians and was full of wild game, such as 
turkeys, deer and wolves. They lived for a 
time in Wayne county, Ohio, but removed 
to Adams county in 1S42, where they com- 
menced fanning in French township. Peter 
J. Baumgartner was born November 5, 
1S53, on the French township farm. He 
spent his boyhood on the farm and secured 
his education in the township schools. He 
remained with his father until he reached 
his majority, and then decided to take up a 
mercantile life. He was employed for five 
years following his departure from the home 
farm as a carpenter and then opened a hard- 
ware business in Berne. This business was 
a small one at its start, but there was a vast 
amount of pluck behind it, and a determina- 
tion on the part of the owner to make it suc- 
cessful in all respects. lie continued his 
business for a Jew years and then engaged 
•is a clerk in the store of L. A. Brickley & 
•^on. However, he resumed his hardware 
business in iSSS and enlarged it at different 

times until it reached its present capacity 
and volume. 

Mr. Baumgartner's father died in 1885 
and the same year his son was married to 
Miss Bertha L. Saurer, a daughter of John 
and Marian (Tschandrey) Saurer. His wife's 
parents came to this country from Switzer- 
land and were among the older inhabitants 
of Adams county. Their farm was original- 
ly located in a wilderness and under their 
management and development became in 
time very valuable. Mr. and Mrs. Baum- 
gartner became the parents of eight children. 
Four are still living: Homer H, Grover C., 
lima E., and Carl. Those dead are : Elroy 
P., Mahala M., Howard and one that died 
unnamed in infancy. 

Since he resumed his hardware business 
in 1888 it has prospered and developed until 
today it yields a handsome profit. The store 
building is admirably adapted to its purpose 
and a complete line of hardware and imple- 
ments is carried. Mr. Baumgartner is an 
aggressive and wide-awake business man 
who appreciates the value of modern meth- 
ods and conducts his business accordingly. 
He is a public-spirited citizen and a man who 
is interested in all movements for the im- 
provement of Berne and Adams county. He 
takes a leading part in such matters and con- 
tributes his support to them generously. He 
is a Democrat in politics and is a staunch 
supporter of his party in his section of the 
state. He has never aspired to public of- 
fice but works in harmony with the members 
of his party. He has accumulated consid- 
erable property and is interested in several 
enterprises. One of his most valued posses- 
sions is a summer home at Odin, near Pe- 
toskey, Michigan. It is at this place that 
Mr. Baumgartner spends his summers and 



he is a keen lover of out of door life and ac- 
tivities. He is an esteemed member of the 
Reformed church and contributes generous- 
ly to its support. 


Tales of the opportunities that awaited 
young men in the United States came to the 
ears of Christian Burghalter in Ins native 
village in Switzerland and lie was inflamed 
with a destire to go to the new republic and 
make his fortune. He was bom in the Swiss 
village February 5, 1833, and grew to man- 
hood there. He had little money and was 
poor, but he made up in determination what 
he lacked in wealth. He succeeded in bor- 
rowing enough money to pay his passage to 
this cduntry and started out. When he land- 
ed in this country his funds were about ex- 
hausted, but he had sufficient money to carry 
him to the Swiss community of Wayne 
county, Ohio. He was a carpenter by trade 
and followed this employment in his early 
days in Ohio. Finally he acquired enough 
money to purchase some land and started as 
a farmer. His father and mother, Barn- 
hardt and Emily (Worst) .Burghalter, came 
to this country in 1852. In the year 1859 
Christian Burghalter was married. He chose 
for his wife Mary Hartman, a daughter of 
Michael Hartman, of Wayne county, Ohio. 
During the early days of her husband on 
his farm Mrs. Burghalter proved an able 
assistant and a faithful wife. The marriage 
has been blessed by eight children, six of 
whom are living. These children are: 
Emma, Amanda. Millie, Daniel, Sarah and 
Ida. Eli and Leda E. are dead. 

As a farmer Mr. Burghalter has been n 
successful and progressive man. His orig- 
inal place was not large and was uninviting. 
However, he cleared it and got it under cul- 
tivation and he made his farming profitable. 
He added from time to time improvements 
and fenced his place. He laid tiling and 
ditched the land where draining was neces- 
sary and he erected suitable buildings. Ik- 
was engaged in cheese making for four 
years, but he devoted the greater portion of 
his time and energies to his farm work and 
to the cultivation of the soil. He added 
other tracts to his original purchase and now 
owns four hundred acres of good land, three 
hundred of which are under cultivation. He- 
finds profit in raising stock for the market 
and has a number of fine Holsteins and sonic 
excellent Poland China and Duroc hogs on 
his place. He employs modern methods in 
administering the affairs and business of his 
estate, and in other ways demonstrates the 
fact that he is a thoroughly wide-awake 
man. Some years ago he erected a fine brick 
residence and a large barn. These buildings 
are among the best and finest in the county. 
His prosperity today is in strange contrast 
with his needy condition when he came to 
Indiana. He delights in telling of his early 
days and of the time when he hauled his 
produce forty-eight miles to find a market 
for it in Fort Wayne. 

Mr. Burghalter is a public-spirited man. 
He takes a keen interest in all matters per- 
taining to the betterment of the community 
and has been active in many movements 
looking toward this end. He is an advocate 
of good roads and was instrumental in secur- 
ing the construction of some of the present 
county pikes. In politics he is a Democrat, 
but he is not an aggressive partisan. He has 



not aspired to public office, but served a 
timber of years as a supervisor. He is a 
member of the Reformed church and gives 
[his denomination his support. He and his 
family are highly esteemed by all who know 
them, and his home is one of the centers of 
social interest and activity of the district in 
which it is situated. 


Levi A. Sprunger is counted among the 
substantial and successful business men of 
Adams county. He was born in Monroe 
township, Adams county, November 1, 
j 863, and is a son of that revered veteran of 
Adams county finance, Abraham A. Sprun- 
ger. His father and mother were two of the 
substantial and hardy Swiss people who mi- 
grated to America in an early day and set- 
lied in northeastern Indiana. The elder 
Sprunger was a farmer and stock shipper 
and to him Berne is indebted for its strong 
luiancial institution, the Bank of Berne. Mr. 
Abraham Sprunger was instrumental in 
founding that institution and was its presi- 
dent continuously from the day its doors 
were first thrown open to the farmers of 
Adams comity to his death. He was a large 
stockholder in the bank and was represented 
■ a number of Berne's leading industries. 

Levi was a member of a family of thir- 
teen children, eight of whom are still living. 
As a boy and young man he worked on his 
father's farm and secured his early educa- 
tK »n in the winter term schools of his neigh-. 
uorhood. When he reached his majority he ' 
turned his back on the farm and began busi- 
ness as a clerk in a mercantile establishment 

in Berne. He was employed in this manner 
for some time and then severed his connec- 
tion with the store and interested himself in 
the lumber business. He operated and man- 
aged a lumber business, including a saw and 
planing mill, for the succeeding five years. 
He built up a successful enterprise and a 
large business. After the close of the five 
years' period he disposed of his mill interests 
and engaged in the mercantile business. He 
purchased his present business and has con- 
ducted it since. He began his present busi- 
ness in 1S92 and has developed it to its pres- 
ent satisfactory proportions. His store is 
one of the most attractive and best equipped 
in Berne and he commands a large trade. 
His methods are those of a wide-awake, pro- 
gressive business man and he possesses a 
large share of business sagacity. His meth- 
ods are such, that recommends him to his 
patrons and his store is a trading center for 
the entire section of the county. 

Mr. Sprunger is interested in a number 
of industries of Berne. He is a stockholder 
and a director of the Bank of Berne, which 
institution his father founded. He is a di- 
rector and stockholder in the Berne Lumber 
Company and is connected with the Berne 
Milling Company. He was the manager of 
this latter concern for five years and did 
much to place it on the firm footing it enjoys 
today. He is a public-spirited man and a 
valuable and useful citizen. He is a leader 
in municipal affairs and gives his hearty and 
generous support to all movements that are 
destined to elevate the general public. In 
politics he is a Democrat, but is in no sense 
a seeker of prefermait or a partisan work- 
er. He has served on the school board and 
is a patron and firm friend of education. 
With his famiiv he is a member of the Men- 



nonite church and contributes to the sup- 
port of this denomination. 

In 1887 he was united in marriage to 
Miss Matilda Baumgartner, a daughter of 
Abraham and Caroline (Ellenberger) 
Baumgartner. Five children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Sprunger. These are : 
Alina, Grover, Lydia, Harry and Leona. 


David Bixler has the distinction of being 
the pioneer jeweler of Berne. He opened 
the first store of its kind in this section of 
Adams county in 1872 in his father's home 
in French township. He began his trade 
with a relative who had been in the same 
line of business in Canada. Possessing a 
natural fondness for mechanics, he proved 
an intelligent apprentice and is today one of 
the most skilled men in his business in north- 
eastern Indiana. He was born in French 
township, Adams county, May 29, 1854. 
His parents ware John and Maria (Ba- 
singer) Bixler. The father was born in 
Wayne county. Ohio, in 1S28 and came to 
Indiana in 1853. The elder Bixler pur- 
chased eighty acres and cultivated this tract 
and improved it until 1S93, when he moved 
to Berne and lived a retired life. His death 
occurred March 15, 1905. His wife is still 
living with her son, the subject of this 

David Bixler lived on his father's farm 
during his youth and early manhood. His 
youth differed in no respect from that of the 
other boys of his community. He attended 
the schools of his neighborhood and secured 
as good an education as was possible under 

the conditions. At an early age he showed 
an aptitude for mechanics and began learn- 
ing the watchmaker's and jeweler's trade 
under his relative. He made rapid progress 
and set up a small establishment at his 
father's home. He repaired the watches of 
the farmers of his neighborhood and as his 
fame as an accomplished workman grew he 
was patronized by many from a distance. 
He enlarged his little business and added a 
stock of jewelry to his equipment as a watch- 
maker. He continued to conduct his busi- 
ness at the home farm until 18S0, when he 
removed to Berne and established himself m 
business there. His store was the first of its 
kind opened in Berne. Today it is one of 
the best equipped in the county. Mr. Bix- 
ler is a skilled optician, being a graduate, as 
well as a jeweler, and he enjoys a large and 
constantly increasing patronage. Of an in- 
ventive turn of mind, Mr. Bixler has invent- 
ed and made a number of the more delicate 
tools he uses in his work. He has built two 
fine regulators and a balance that will re- 
spond to the two-hundredth part of a grain. 
He has two sons, Frank and Noah, who are 
also of their father's inventive turn. The 
former of these is an assistant in his father's 
establishment and the other is studying the 
same trade. 

Mr. Bixler was married in 1S75 to Miss 
Anna Luginbill, a daughter of Peter and 
Barbara (Steincr) Luginbill. Her parents 
were natives of Switzerland and came to 
Adams county at an early date. They set- 
tled on a farm and were successful tillers ot 
the soil. Eight children came to bless the 
union of Mr. and Mrs. Bixler. These chil- 
dren are: Clara H., the wife of Dr. Atnos 
Reusser; Mary A., the wife of T. M. Huff- 
mail, connected with the telephone com- 



• m:iv; Franklin G., Noah A., a student at 
Toronto, Canada; Laura H., in Chicago; 
Kmma M., Esther E. and Envin D., at home. 

Mr. Bixler is considered one of the best 
s-itizens of Berne. He is a thoroughly mod- 
ern and progressive man. In the sense of 
possessing a competence he has proved a 
successful business man, but he has not neg- 
lected his civic duties in accumulating his 
possessions. He has always taken an active 
and aggressive part in municipal and county 
affairs, and served for fifteen years as treas- 
urer of Berne. He is a Democrat in politics 
and is a staunch adherent of this party. He 
owns real estate in Berne, a fine farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres near Lisbon, North 
Dakota, and is interested in several finan- 
cial enterprises. 

There is no family more highly esteemed 
than his own in the whole of Adams county. 
He has led an exemplar)' life and has con- 
tributed his full share to the happiness and 
welfare of his fellow men. He is a con- 
sistent member of the Mennonite church and 
with his family gives his support to the aims 
.'nid ambitions of this denomination. 


Julius C. Schug is an example of progres- 
sive men that it is a good thing for a com- 
munity to claim as a resident. He is a leader 
in all things that are for the benefit of Berne 
and is in every way an exemplary citizen. 
He was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, 
December 20, 1858, and is a son of Karl 
and Catherine (Roush) Schug. His par- 
ents were natives of Germany and came to 
Indiana from Ohio at an earlv date. Their 

son Julius was educated in the schools of 
Adams county, Indiana, whither the family 
removed in 1862. He experienced a hard 
struggle when a youth, but he possessed 
thrift and industry and gained for himself 
a competence early in life. When he grew 
to man's estate Julius worked for a time at 
the trade of carpentering. Following this 
employment, he engaged in the sale of sew- 
ing machines and farm implements. He sold 
in various parts of Indiana and met with suc- 
cess. His work attracted the attention of the 
McCormick Harvester Company and they 
engaged him to represent the firm in this 
state with headquarters at Indianapolis. He 
accepted the proposition made him and in 
1886, 1887 and 1888 was employed by the 
company as traveling salesman. 

In 1887 Mr. Schug purchased a half in- 
terest in the Schug Brothers' Hardware 
Store in Berne. Since that time he has been 
identified with this line of business in Berne. 
The business grew and twelve years later the 
firm erected the present fine store property. 
This building is the finest of its kind in 
Berne and is sixty-six by one hundred and 
twenty feet, two-story and basement. The 
display rooms of this store are large and con- 
veniently appointed. A complete line of 
hardware, builders' materials, farm imple- 
ments and machinery and vehicles is car- 
ried. Their stock is one of the largest and 
best in this section of the state and a large 
force of men are employed attending to the 
large trade they control. In addition to his 
hardware business Mr. Schug is interested 
in a number of Berne enterprises and indus- 
tries. He is a stockholder in both of the 
Berne banks and is president of the People's 
State Bank. He is interested financially in 
the Berne Manufacturing Company at Berne 



and is one of its organizers, and has since 
been its president; was secretary of the 
Berne Stave and Heading Company before 
that plant was destroyed by fire. 

Mr. Schug was married in 1890 to Miss 
Nanny Burghalter, daughter of Christopher 
and Burghalter, who came to Car- 
roll county, Indiana, at an early date, where 
they were early settlers. Mrs. Schug died 
about a year after her marriage, July 21, 
1 89 1. Mr. Schug married again to Miss 
Emma Frances Kelly, a daughter of Samuel 
F. and Elizabeth (Deo) Kelly. Four chil- 
dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Schug : 
Velma T., Catherine E., Walter C. and an 
infant daughter. 

If one characteristic rather than another 
might be said to be the keynote to a man's 
character in the case of Mr. Schug it would 
be his firm integrity and public spirit. He is 
an active promoter of the welfare of his na- 
tive city and co-operates heartily in all 
movements looking toward the advancement 
of the city's interests. He has the esteem and 
confidence of all who know him and is reck- 
oned among the most progressive men of 
his section of the state. In politics he is an 
adherent of the Democratic party, but is not 
a man who aspires to public office. 


Christian G. Egly, who is conducting a 
large business in hay and grain at Berne and 
who is also numbered among the most pro- 
gressive and up-to-date citizens of this thriv- 
ing county, is a. native of Adams county, 
Indiana, having been born in Hartford 
township on the 10th of April, 1864. He is 

a son of Henry and Catherine (Goldsmith) 

Egly, the former a native of Baden, Ger- 
many, and the latter of Alsace, France. 
The father was born April 5, 1S24, and tlic 
mother June 15, 1827. They were the parents 
of eight children, namely : Jacob, Magdalene, 
Henry J., Samuel, Joseph, Abraham, Chris- 
tian G. and Catherine. The parents of these 
children came to the United States in 1S37 
and located in Butler county, Ohio, where 
they remained until 1849. when they came 
to Adams county and located in a woods in 
Hartford township. The forest was so dense 
it was almost impossible to erect even the 
log cabin which they did, but by dint of 
much labor a comfortable home was estab- 
lished, where they lived until 1865, when a 
frame house was erected. Henry Egly suc- 
cessfully followed farming and was also en- 
gaged as a preacher of the Defenseless Men- 
nonite church for forty years. He was a 
man of the strictest integrity and highest 
sense of honor and commanded the absolute 
respect of his community. He died in 1890 
and his wife in February, 1905. 

Christian Egly was educated in the com- 
mon schools of Hartford township, but his 
education ceased at the age of sixteen, when 
he went to work on a farm, at which labor 
he was engaged until 1898, when he came 
to Berne and engaged in his present busi- 
ness as a dealer in grain and hay. He is 
associated in business with C. A. Augsbur- 
ger, but to the subject of this sketch is at- 
tributed the management of the business. 

In 1SS6 Mr. Egly married Miss Anna 
Schenbeck, daughter of Daniel and Anna 
(Klopfenstein) Schenbeck, residents of 
Holmes county, Ohio. Her father was born 
in Holmes county, Ohio, and her mothers 
birth occurred February 12, 1834, in Ger- 



many. To the subject and his wife have 
!>ecn born three children, namely: Lillian 
M.. Henry D., who is attending school at 
Hi-nic. Indiana, and Catherine A. Lillian 
M. took a four years' course at a college in 
Bluffton, Ohio, and later took a musical 
course at Findlay, Ohio. In politics Mr. 
iviy is a staunch Republican, though he 
has never held public office. Religiously he 
and his wife are members of the Mennonite 
church, of which they are faithful and active 


To Dr. Wilson belongs the distinction of 
being one of the foremost surgeons of north- 
eastern Indiana and his reputation as a 
skilled operator has gained him a wide pat- 
ronage in his own and neighboring counties. 
He was born June 30, 1S56, in Ross county, 
Ohio. He is a son of George C. and Eliza 
A. (Wood) Wilson. His father was born 
in Ross county in 1835 and is the son of 
John C. Wilson, a soldier, who received a 
grant of land in Ohio as a reward for the 
faithful performance of his military duties. 
The paternal grandfather of Dr. Wilson was 
the son of the direct ancestor of the family 
in this country. He came to Virginia from 
England at a very early day and the grand- 
father of Dr. Wilson was born in that state. 
Dr. Wilson's father lived on his Ross county 
farm until 1883, when he moved to Van 
W ert county, where he is still living. 

Dr. Wilson spent his youth, and early man- 
hood on his father's farms. He received a 
good education in the Ohio county schools 
and later supplemented this preliminary edu- 
cation with a classical course at Taylor Uni- 

versity at Fort Wayne. He completed the 
course at this institution and was graduated 
"cum laude" with the class of 1884. By 
this time he had decided to adopt the med- 
ical profession for his life work and he en- 
tered the medical school at Fort Wayne 
after his graduation from Taylor University. 
He pursued his studies in this medical school 
and received his degree in four years. Fol- 
lowing his graduation from the medical 
college he spent two years in post-graduate 
work and in hospitals. He was connected 
with the St. Joseph's Hospital at Fort 
Wayne and was a student under Dr. C. B. 
Stemen, a celebrated surgeon of Fort 
Wayne. He established his first office after 
completing his hospital work in Scott, Van 
Wert county, Ohio, where his father was 
living. He practiced in Ohio until 189S, 
when he removed to Indiana and settled in 
Berne. He has built up a large practice and 
he has been successful in a number of very 
delicate and critical operations. His suc- 
cesses have gained a wide repute for him and 
he has become the leading surgeon of his 

In 1879 Dr. Wilson was married to Miss 
Elizabeth Eutsler. His wife died in 1S86 
and was survived by three children. These 
are: Edward, a farmer in Scott, Van Wert 
county, Ohio; William, a railroad engineer, 
and Minnie, married and a resident of Scott, 
Van Wert county, Ohio. Two years after 
the death of his first wife Dr. Wilson mar- 
ried again. His wife this time was Miss 
Victoria Click. She died a few years after 
the marriage and bore her husband a daugh- 
ter, Myrtle, a trained nurse, connected with 
the Cleveland, Ohio, City Hospital. Dr. 
Wilson was married for the third time in 
1904 to Miss Flossie Dudgeon. 



Dr. Wilson has been a busy man. His 
profession has demanded the major part of 
his time and attention, but he has found 
time for studying. He took up the law and 
completed its study and v,-as admitted to 
practice in the Adams county courts. How- 
ever, he has not practiced law. He is a man 
who keeps fully abreast with his profession. 
He is a member of and keeps in close touch 
with the national, state and county medical 
organizations. He reads extensively and is 
informed of all the progress, discoveries and 
developments of his profession. He is a 
broad-gauge man and is alive to the move- 
ments that are for the benefit of Berne. He 
is public spirited and a hearty colaborer 
with his fellow townsmen in all matters that 
are for the general good. 


Several members of the family bearing 
the name of the subject of this sketch have 
achieved success and prominence in north- 
eastern Indiana. In Berne several are liv- 
ing at this time and are successful and re- 
spected business men. Among this number 
is Philip Schug. He was born in Tusca- 
rawas county, Ohio, May 30, 1861. His 
parents were Karl and Catherine (Roush) 
Schug. They were natives of Germany and 
came to the United States at an early time, 
settling in Ohio, where they lived until 
1864. In this year the elder Schug came to 
Indiana and settled on a farm in French 
township, Adams county. Philip Schug was 
a small boy when his parents brought him 
to Indiana, and he has spent all of his sub- 
sequent life in this state. Philip was one of 

a family of eight children that were left 
fatherless soon after the family came to In- 
diana. The early life of the boy was a hard 
one. It meant an uncompromising struggle 
for existence in a new country and against 
overwhelming odds. However, the mother 
and children were industrious and at length 
firmly established themselves. Philip attend- 
ed the common schools of the neighborhood 
and obtained a fair English education. He 
worked on the family farm until he reached 
his twenty-third year. He came to Berne 
and established himself in the implement 
business. He also handled and sold sewing 
machines. His venture was a success and 
he increased his business and prospered. He 
continued in this line for a number of years 
and then he disposed of the business and 
went into the insurance business. He rep- 
resented a number of strong and popular fire 
insurance companies and was rewarded with 
a fair degree of success. He gave up his in- 
surance business after a few years and en- 
tered the employ of a local firm of hardware 
merchants. He was connected with this con- 
cern for three years and then engaged in the 
sewing machine business. He sold insur- 
ance later for a short period and then pur- 
chased his present retail shoe business. This 
purchase was consummated in 1905. He 
secured his interest in the shoe business 
known under the firm name of Ryf & Schug 
by purchasing the interest held by Samuel 
Schindler. The store occupied by this con- 
cern is one of the handsomest and best ap- 
pointed in Berne and the annual business 
is large. A full line of shoes is carried and 
represents an investment of approximately 
ten thousand dollars. A repair shop is oper- 
ated in connection with the retail business. 
In 18S4 Mr. Schug married Anna Strik- 



t-r, a daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth 
Striker. Her father was born in Germany 
and her mother in Pennsylvania. Mr. and 
Mrs. Schug are the parents of four children. 
The children are: Otto F., who died July 
8, 1907, being killed by a train, aged twen- 
ty-two years; Cora P., Jesse A., and 
Everett J. 

Besides being one of the aggressive and 
substantial business men of Berne, Mr. 
Schug is one of the leading citizens. He has 
taken an active part in public affairs all his 
life and served as one of the earlier marshals 
of the town. He was a member of the town 
board for a period of five years and was 
twice a candidate for the office of county au- 
ditor. He was defeated but the majorities 
secured against him were not large. He is 
a Democrat and takes an active and intelli- 
gent interest in the affairs of his party in 
Adams county. He is a member of Berne 
Lodge, No. 398, Knights of Pythias. He 
owns considerable town property and lives 
in a comfortable home. He and his family 
are among the most highly respected people 
of the community. 


It is justly said that the medical profes- 
sion of northeastern Indiana has among it 
some physicians of note. These men have 
made places for themselves in the confi- 
dence of their fellows and are highly es- 
teemed both as physicians and citizens. 
Prominent among the number is Dr. Ernest 
Franz, with, whom this sketch is concerned. 
He is a native of Switzerland, having been 
born in Bubendorf, canton of Basel, in that 

republic, April 14, 1865. He is a son of 
Daniel and Elizabeth (Schaad) Franz and 
came to this countiy with his parents in 
1879. He lived with his father and mother 
in various sections of the country until he 
grew to manhood. His early education was 
secured in the schools of his native village 
and this he added to after reaching America. 

When his parents landed here they went 
to New Martinsville, West Virginia. His 
father was a cheesemaker and followed this 
trade in West Virginia for a year. The 
family then moved to Ohio and again back 
to West Virginia. After a year of residence 
in this state a third trip was made. This 
time the family went to Oshkosh, Wiscon- 
sin, and after a year to New Glarus, one of 
the greatest cheese-making towns in the 
country. Another year found the family in 
Adams county, Indiana, where the father is 
still living. The elder Franz followed his 
trade until 1894, when he retired and lives- 
in his home about one and one half miles- 
east of Berne. To Daniel and Elizabeth 
Franz five children were born, of whom four 
are living. These children were named : 
Ernest, Jacob, deceased ; Julia, the wife of 
Peter E. Habegger; Emil and Otto. Emil 
is a practicing attorney of Berne and Otto is 
in the rural mail service as a carrier. 

Dr. Franz assisted his father in the cheese- 
making until he grew to manhood. He de- 
cided to take up the study of medicine, mean- 
ing to adopt it as a profession. November 
14, 1887, he began his studies in the office 
of Dr. Peter A. Sprunger, one of the older 
physicians of Berne. Dr. Franz was asso- 
ciated with Dr. Sprunger until 1S00, when 
his mother died. He then entered the 
Hahnemannain Medical College at Chicago 
and was graduated from this institution 



March 23, 1893. During his first summer 
vacation he assisted in the office of Dr. 
Sprunger and the second summer he was 
connected with the office of Dr. Neueu- 
schwander. Following his graduation he re- 
turned to Berne and began the active prac- 
tice of his profession. He was a successful 
practitioner from the start and has built up 
a fine and profitable practice. He is a man 
who believes in keeping clear of rust and in 
not permitting himself to drift or to fall be- 
hind the discoveries or advancement made in 
his profession. He is an earnest reader of 
professional literature and is a member of 
the state, county and national medical asso- 
ciations. He attends the annual conventions 
of his own school and is an important mem- 
ber of his associations. 

The marriage of Dr. Franz and Miss Lea 
Neuenschwander occurred March 9, 1890. 
His wife is a daughter of Christian and 
Anna (Lehman) Neuenschwander. Like 
her husband's parents, her own were na- 
tives of Switzerland and came to the United 
States about the middle of the last century. 
Nine children have been born to Dr. and 
Mrs. Franz. These are all living at home 
and are: Anna E., Franklin, Ernestine E., 
Elfriede E., Gerhard E., Irlene E., lima E., 
Agnes E. and Flora E. 

Dr. Franz is a progressive citizen and 
takes an interest in the affairs of his adopted 
city. He is a leader in movements destined 
to promote the general good or to advance 
the interests of Berne. He is a member of 
the Mennonite church and with his family 
contributes to the support of this denomina- 
tion. He cannot be said to be a public man. 
His profession keeps him busy, and he has 
not time to engage in politics. However, he 
is keenly alive to what is happening in coun- 

ty, state and national politics, and has well 
founded, accurate opinions on measures of 
this nature. 


P. A. Macklin is a farmer of Wabash 
township, Adams county, and is one of the 
successful and esteemed men of his section. 
Fie is a native of Indiana and was born in 
Bear Creek township, Jay county, July 7, 
185S. His parents were Philip and Mahala 
(Cole) Macklin. They were natives of Ohio, 
his father being born in Fairfield county and 
his mother in Franklin county. They were 
fanners and came from Ohio to Indiana 
years ago and settled in Jay county, where 
the father died October 30, 189S. The 
mother died October 1, 1893. Their son, 
P. A. Macklin, was reared on the family 
homestead in Jay county. His boyhood was 
not unlike that of any other boys who were 
reared on the farms of the period. He at- 
tended the sessions of the district schools 
during the winter months and at other times 
of the year assisted his father in the work 
of cultivating the farm. He secured as good 
a general education as was possible at the 
time and became expert in farm cultivation 
and management. After he grew to man- 
hood he engaged in work independent of his 
family. He was variously employed for 
some years and then decided to move to an- 
other part of the state. In 1880 he came 
to Adams county and purchased land in W a- 
bash township. This is a tract of seventy- 
seven acres and was but partially cleared. 
He addressed himself to the work of clearing 



all of his laud and improving it, and after 
.some time found himself in possession of a 
rood farm, well cleared and improved to a 
point of profitable productiveness. The old 
buildings he first used on the place were re- 
placed with new and modem ones, and in 
many ways the entire estate was trans- 

Two years before his removal from Jay 
county to Adams county Mr. Macklin was 
married to Miss Mary Siberry, a daughter 
of John and Sarah (An ties) Siberry. His 
wife's parents were natives of Ohio and 
came to Jay county at an early date. Her 
father died in 1862, but her mother is still 
living at Bryant, Jay county, Indiana. Mr. 
and Mrs. Macklin have become the parents 
of eight children. These are: Bertha, the 
wife of Bertis Fifer, a farmer; Philip, Troy, 
Haze!, Haskel, Israel, deceased; Orena and 
Mark. Five of these children are living at 
their parents' home. 

Mr. Macklin is one of the best known 
men in his township. He is a progressive 
farmer and believes in modern methods and 
modern machinery. He cultivates his farm 
.in an approved manner and makes it a pay- 
ing proposition. His crops are satisfactory, 
and he markets much of his crop each year 
at a profit. He raises Duroc hogs and his 
breed of these animals is one of the best in 
the county. He is a member of the Geneva 
Masonic lodge and is respected and es- 
teemed. He is not a public man in the sense 
that he is a politician. However, as a Dem- 
ocrat he has well-grounded opinions on mat- 
ters of genera! and local political interest. 

The family are members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church at Pleasant Grove church. 
He has served as trustee and assessor. He 
has five producing oil wells. 


Jacob A. Habegger, the subject of this 
sketch, has done much to improve the 
breeds of horses in Adams county. His ef- 
forts have met with acknowledgment and re- 
ward, and today the value and quality of 
horses owned by Adams county farmers is 
very high. He was born • in Switzerland 
September 9, 1870. He is the son of Abra- 
ham and Lena (Moser) Habegger. His 
parents came to the United States when he 
was but five years of age. They settled in 
Adams county, and here the youth of Mr. 
Habegger was spent. His father owned and 
operated a good farm in Monroe township, 
and this homestead of one hundred acres is 
still in his possession. He had twelve chil- 
dren, nine of whom are still living. 

Mr. J. A. Habegger was reared on his 
father's farm and was educated in the 
schools of Monroe township. He spent his 
time on the farm until he was grown and 
assisted in improving and cultivating the 
land. He continued to farm until 1901, 
when he engaged in the livery business at 
Berne. A good feeding barn had long been 
needed in Berne. The farmers and resi- 
dents of the town realized this, but the at- 
tempts to conduct one had failed repeatedly 
until Mr. Habegger opened his present es- 
tablishment under the firm name of J. A. 
Habegger & Company. From the beginning 
of the enterprise it was a financial success. 
The management and methods of Mr. Ha- 
begger were such that guaranteed the suc- 
cess of the business, and much of the credit 
for its success can be rightly given to him. 
The building which the business occupies is 
large and admirably adapted to the feeding 
and livery business. It is equipped in a most 



modern and convenient manner, and is one 
of the finest establishments of its kind in 
.northeastern Indiana. 

Much of Mr. Habcgger's time is devoted 
to breeding fine horses. Some time ago he 
imported four Belgian stallions of a very 
fine strain and in addition he owns a highly 
bred Percheron Norman stallion. 

The marriage of Mr. Habegger and Miss 
Lavina Neuenschwander, a daughter of 
Jacob and Elizabeth (Stauffer) Neuen- 
schwander, was celebrated in 1896. His 
wife's parents were natives of Adams 
county, where their daughter was born. Mr. 
and Mrs. Habegger have an interesting fam- 
ily of six children. These children are: 
Clarence, Albert, Delia, Alma, Wilbert and 
Edison. His home is a fine cement block res- 
idence and is one of the handsomest and 
most attractive in Berne. 

In politics Mr. Habegger is a Democrat, 
but he has never aspired to office or sought 
preferment at the hands of his party. He is 
a well-balanced and active business man and 
is generally esteemed. He and the members 
•of his family' are communicants of the Men- 
nonite church, to which they give their help 
and constant support. He owns about 
eight acres in his home place. 


Vernon L. Snow is a type of man who 
has achieved a comfortable living and accu- 
mulated much of the world's goods through 
his own unaided efforts. He is the only sur- 
vivor of his father's family and was born m 
Jay county. Indiana, March. _>(>, J859. His 
father was Dr. J. B. Snow, a practicing 

physician all of his life, a native of Penn- 
sylvania. His mother was Eliza J. Lyon. 
After his marriage Dr. Snow moved to Jay 
county, later Randolph, and later came to 
Adams county. His wife died in 1864 and 
his own death occurred in 1876. His son, 
Vernon L. Snow, did not follow in his 
father's footsteps and take up medicine as a 
profession. He was raised in this county 
and attended the county schools. However, 
he decided to adopt agriculture as his life 
work, and to this pursuit he has since de- 
voted himself with all of his energies. The 
present farm of Mr. Snow consists of eighty 
acres bordering on the corporation limits of 
Geneva. It is a fine tract of land and is one 
of the best improved in the district where it 
is located. Mr. Snow is a progressive man 
and believes thoroughly in the advantages of 
modern methods and modern machinery. 
He adopts these methods and devices in op- 
erating his farm and his crops each year are 
among the largest and best raised 
on any similar tract of land in 
Adams county. He has made all 
of the improvements that are on his place 
and his residence, barns and other neces- 
sary buildings are substantial and in every 
respect admirably adapted to the purposes 
for which they were erected. His land is 
well fenced and drained and in all respects 
is a handsome and valuable estate. 

In 18S0 Mr. Snow married Miss Mary C. 
Vance, a daughter of Marshall and Ara- 
bella (Diffenbaugh) Vance. His wife's 
parents were among the early arrivals in In- 
diana. They came to this state from Ohio, 
where they were reared, and settled in 
Adams county on a farm still in the family's 
possession. Her mother's people were na- 
tives of Marvland and came west at a very 



early date in the last century. Three chil- 
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Snow : 
Jessie, deceased ; Grace and Bertha. The 
latter children are living at home. 

Mr. Snow has been an active and busy 
man all of his life. He has devoted the 
greater portion of his time and attention to 
the cultivation of his farm, but as an exem- 
plary citizen he has taken a live interest in 
the affairs of the county. He co-operates 
with other residents of the county in all 
movements that have as their object the bet- 
terment of the county and his advice and 
counsel is frequently sought on matters of 
importance. He is a Republican so far as 
his political affiliations are concerned and 
supports this party in national questions. 
However, he reserves the right to vote inde- 
pendently on matters affecting the county 
and is to be found on the side of the candi- 
date whom he considers best fitted for the 
office regardless of party lines. He is not a 
member of any fraternal organization. He 
is a consistent member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and with his family gives 
his moral and financial support to this de- 
nomination. His home is one of the pleas- 
antest in the county and his family is highly 
esteemed. In business he is looked upon as 
a successful man, and in 1900 he had his 
fortunes bettered by the finding of oil on 
his place. He now has four producing 


rhere are many residents of Adams coun- 
ty, particularly in the vicinity of Berne, who 
are either natives or descended from natives 
of Switzerland. This section of the county 

was practically settled by Swiss people, and 
the Swiss names are frequently heard. 
Among the residents of Berne who came 
from the little republic perched among the 
Alps is Emil Franz. He was bom in sight 
of the beautiful Alps, March 29, 1869. He 
came to the United States with his parents, 
Daniel and Elizabeth (Schaad) Franz, when 
a lad of ten years. The family first lived 
in Monroe county, Ohio, then removed to 
Winnebago county, Wisconsin, and in 1883 
came to Indiana and settled on a farm in 
Monroe township, Adams county. The elder 
Franz took up his trade of cheese mak- 
ing in his new home, and for forty years 
followed this employment. The combined 
work of farming and cheese making was 
followed by Daniel Franz until 1896, when 
he retired from active business and is now 
living on a small farm. He had a family of 
five children, all of whom are living. 

Emil Franz received his early education 
in the schools of his native village in Switz- 
erland. When he came with his parents to 
this country he studied the language and 
picked up a smattering of an English edu- 
cation. He was an industrious boy and as- 
sisted in the work of cheese making. He 
lived at his father's home until he grew to 
manhood. He was studious and conceived 
a liking for law, which profession he de- 
termined to make his life work. He read 
such law books as he could get and finally se- 
cured a broad and comprehensive knowledge 
of the law. He was variously employed in 
his early manhood and took an active part 
in politics. In 1S94 he was elected town 
marshal and served in this capacity for four 
years. He discharged the duties of his of- 
fice with ability and to the entire satisfac- 
tion of the public he served. He completed 



his preparatory law studies in 1900 and that 
year was admitted to practice in the Adams 
county courts. Following his admission to 
practice he established an office and has since 
devoted much of his time to his profession. 
In addition to his law business Mr. Franz 
conducted a fire insurance business until 
1905. He was the local representative of a 
number of the older and more substantial 
companies, and made this branch of his busi- 
ness profitable. In the year mentioned he 
gave up his fire insurance work and engaged 
in life insurance work. He has also been a 
notary public for eight years and his practice 
is among the more prominent and profitable 
in the count) 7 . 

In the course of his busy life he has found 
time to establish a home, and was married 
to Miss Katie Lehman, a daughter of Abra- 
ham and Mary A. (Sprunger) Lehman. His 
wife's parents formerly lived in Wayne 
county, Ohio, where the daughter was born, 
bat they now reside in Adams county. Five 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Franz: Bertha E., Rosa E., Elma E., Dan- 
iel E. and Viola E. The family are mem- 
bers of the Mennonite church and to this 
religious institution Mr. Franz gives his 
support. He is looked upon as a public-spir- 
ited man, and is an active worker in all 
things that have the betterment and uplift- 
ing of the community as an object. 


Dr. Reuben Sprunger, V. S., is a young 
man and has been engaged in his profession 
but a few years. Still in a short period of 
active practice of his profession as a vet- 

erinarian he has achieved much prominence 
and established himself as an able and con- 
scientious member of his profession. He- 
was born in Monroe township October 27, 
1875. His father" was one of the pioneer 
physicians of Adams county, and the name 
Peter A. Sprunger became a household 
word in the homes of many of the older resi- 
dents of the county. A native of Switzer- 
land, from which so many came to Adams 
county, Dr. Sprunger came to Indiana when 
a mere youth. He began the study of medi- 
cine in about the year 1876, studying with 
Dr. Daniel Neuenschwander, a pioneer 
physician. In a few years he was actively 
engaged in his profession, and his buggy 
or horse were a familiar sight along the 
county roads. He built up a large practice 
and was almost continuously on the road. 
At times he would fall asleep from sheer 
physical exhaustion, and his faithful horse 
would take him safely to his home. He con- 
tinued to practice until his sudden death in 
November, 1895. 

It will be seen that his son Reuben comes 
naturally by his desire to practice medicine. 
As a youth Reuben Sprunger attended the 
county schools and later spent one year in 
the Berne schools. By this time he had 
made up his mind to study veterinary sur- 
gery and so he journeyed to Toronto, On- 
tario, where he studied for a year. The fol- 
lowing year he entered the veterinary col- 
lege at Indianapolis and graduated from this 
institution in 1903. He returned to Berne 
and began the practice of his profession. 

Dr. Sprunger was married to Miss Laura 
Fuhrman, a daughter of Henry and Mary 
(Beck) Fuhrman, February 24, 1906. He 
is a successful man and is one of a type of 
progressive business men who are a distinct 



benefit to a community. His practice is con- 
stantly increasing, and although he has been 
in business in Berne but a short time he has 
become the proprietor of a fine business. He 
is wide-awake to all matters that have a rea- 
sonable certainty of benefiting Berne and 
Adams county. He takes an active part in 
-ucli projects and gives them his hearty co- 
operation. Politically he is a member of the 
Democratic party. He is an enthusiastic 
party worker. His religious affiliations are 
with the Evangelical church. 


Adams county numbers among its citizens 
members of the medical profession who have 
attained prominence and note among the 
leading physicians of the state. Of the num- 
ber none stands higher than Dr. C. H. 
Schenk. This physician, whose career is 
briefly outlined in this sketch, is an able man 
and has reached an enviable position in the 
ranks of his fellow practitioners. He is a 
native Hoosier and was born in Jay county 
Octuber 30, 1870. He is a son of G. F. and 
Christina (Ruckweidt) Schenk. Both of his 
parents were born in Wurtemburg, Ger- 
many, his father in 1S32 and his mother in 
1835. They came to the United States in 
early life and were married in Cincinnati, 
Ohio. They located first in Kentucky in 
• 862 and then came to Indiana, selecting 
Jay county as their home. They secured 
land and took up the work of cultivating the 
sou. As the years passed they became one 
01 the most successful and progressive farm- 
er families in their section of the state, and 
added additional land to their holdings. 

Finally they found themselves in possession 
of three hundred acres, which they still own 
and on which was their home until the death 
of Mrs. Schenk in 1902. Since that time 
Mr. Schenk has traveled much for his health 
and spends a part of each year with Dr. 

It was on this farm that eight children 
born to the elder Schenks lived and were 
reared. Of this family six; boys are living. 
Two daughters are deceased. Dr. C. H. 
Schenk was one of this family of children 
and received his early education in the 
schools of Jay county. He was an indus- 
trious youth and an apt student. He was 
also an able and earnest assistant to his fa- 
ther in cultivating the homestead. After 
he completed his course of study in the pri- 
mary schools of Jay county he attended the 
Portland normal school. He was a close 
student and gained knowledge with ease and 
rapidity. After finishing his work in the 
normal school he decided to take up medi- 
cine as a profession. To this end he matric- 
ulated in the Physo Medical College at In- 
dianapolis and studied at this institution for 
four years. He was graduated with the 
class of 1894 and returned to his home for 
a short time. He entered on the active prac- 
tice of his profession at Oakville, Delaware 
county, where he remained for two years. 
Circumstances shaped themselves so that he 
made up his mind to give up his office in 
Oakville and to remove to Berne. He did 
this and formed a partnership for the prac- 
ticing of medicine with Dr. W. F. Schenk. 
This arrangement lasted for about a year 
when Dr. W. F. Schenk was compelled to 
abandon his active work. Later, however, 
he established himself in practice at New 
Corydon, Indiana. With the withdrawal 



of Dr. W. F. Schenk from the partnership 
Dr. C. H. Schenk took over the entire busi- 
ness and has continued to practice in Berne. 
He now enjoys a fine practice and is consid- 
ered one of the leading and able members 
of his profession in his section of the state. 
Dr. Schenk is a broad-gauge man in all re- 
spects. He as a public-spirited citizen and 
takes a live part in matters that affect the 
prosperity of Berne. He is a member of the 
Democratic party and an active worker. He 
has never asked for public office but has 
served as the health officer of Berne and as 
coroner of Adams county. 

In 1895 Dr. Schenk was married to Miss 
Elizabeth C. Atkinson. His wife is a 
daughter cf J. R. and Margaret (Theurer) 
Atkinson. Her parents came to Indiana 
from Wayne county, O'aio, and are residents 
of Jay county. Dc. and Mrs. Schenk are 
the parents of one daughter, Agnes, attend- 
ing the Berne schools. Dr. Schenk is a 
member of Geneva Lodge, No. 621. A. F. 
& A. M., and of the Berne Lodge, No. 39S, 
Knights of Pythias, and is a keen sports- 
man. He spends a month or more of each 
year in the Michigan woods. 


When but a boy of eleven years of age 
Philip Hirschy left his home in Switzerland 
and in company with his mother came across 
the Atlantic to find a home in the new re- 
public. The boy grew to manhood and 
prospered and in time married. Amos Hir- 
schy is the son of this Swiss emigrant and 
was born in Wabash township in Ad:ims 
county, Indiana, September 25. 1S70. His 

parents were Philip and Mary (Richer) Hir- 
schy. After reaching this country the elder 
Hirschy lived in Ohio until he attained his 
majority when he came westward and set- 
tled in Indiana. He purchased land one 
mile south of Berne, where his son was born, 
and remained on the farm until his death in 
1S99. He was a successful farmer and at 
his death was the owner of three hundred 
and twenty acres of fine land, all well im- 
proved. He was survived by a family of 
nine children, all of whom are still living. 

Amos Hirschy grew up on his father's 
farm and attended the schools of the dis- 
trict, where he obtained his early education. 
When three years of age he passed through 
an illness which left him physically disabled 
for manual labor. He attended common 
schools and later entered the Tri-State Nor- 
mal College at Angola and took a business 
course. He completed this course in 1890 
and then engaged in commercial pursuits. 
He was assistant postmaster at Berne over 
two years, then took a position with the 
Bank of Berne, with which financial institu- 
tion he was connected in various capacities 
for eleven years, finally serving as teller. 
Plis connection with the bank gave him a 
wide acquaintance throughout the county 
and he developed into one of the best known 
and most highly respected men of the coun- 
ty. His dealings with the customers of the 
bank were uniformly courteous and when 
he resigned his position to engage in other 
business his absence from the institution was 
regretted by many. 

. After severing his connection with the 
bank Mr. Hirschy en<rae;ed in the insurance 
business in Berne. He formed a partnership 
with Joseph D. YViutertgg and established 
an office. This business he has built up from 



a modest beginning- until it is one of the 
largest and most substantial and profitable 
.of its kind in northeastern Indiana. The 
partnership represents a number of the older 
and stronger insurance companies of the 
country, and the volume of business done 
annually is constantly increasing-. The firm 
enjoys the confidence of the business men 
of Berue and the residents of the county, and 
a large part of the insurance business of the 
county is transacted through the offices of 
this concern. 

Mr. Hirschy was united in marriage with 
Miss Emma Schenbeck in 1S92. His wife 
is a daughter of John J. and Barbara Schen- 
beck. Her parents came to Indiana from 
Pennsylvania, where they were born, and 
settled on a farm in Wabash township with- 
in three and one-half miles of Berne. Three 
children have been bom to Mr. and Mrs. 
Hirschy. These are: Gertrude, Irvin Arbor 
and Willard S. The children are attending 
the Berne schools and live with their par- 

Mr. Hirschy is one of the most pro- 
gressive citizens of Berne. He is a man who 
takes an active part in municipal affairs and 
is foremost in all movements looking toward 
the improvement of the community in which 
lie lives. He is a member of the Democratic 
party in his count)' and is an earnest party 
worker. He served seven years as town 
clerk of Berne and discharged the duties and 
responsibilities of his office in a manner that 
was highly satisfactory to his constituents, 
and demonstrated the wisdom of their 
course when they elected him to the office. 
He and the members of his family are sup- 
potters of the Mennonite church and are ac- 
tive in Uic work of this denomination in 
Adams courrtv. His home is one of the 

most attractive in Berne, being thoroughly 
modern, and is one of the pleasantest in the 


Samuel Egly was born in Hartford town- 
ship, Adams county, Indiana, April 6, 1S57. 
He is the son of Henry and Catherine 
(Goldsmith) Egly. His father was born in 
Germany and after coming to the United 
States settled in Butler county, Ohio. He 
took up the occupation of fanning and was 
a prosperous man. In time he believed that 
Indiana offered greater opportunities for suc- 
cessful and profitable farming and in 1S46 
he removed to the Hoosier state. He pur- 
chased land in Hartford township, Adams 
county. This was a tract of one hundred 
and sixty acres, heavily covered with timber. 
He built a log cabin to serve as a temporary 
home for his family and began clearing his 
farm. The land gave promise of being ex- 
ceedingly fertile and he labored hard for 
several years. In this time he succeeded in 
clearing a large portion and bringing it un- 
der productive and profitable cultivation. 
He erected several other log buildings and 
replaced them with better and more modern 
structures as the years wore on. In 1S65 he 
erected a fine, comfortable residence, which 
is still the home building on the farm. Dur- 
ing his residence on this farm eight children 
were bom to himself and wife. Of these 
children seven are still living. He lived a 
most exemplary- life and for a number of 
years was a preacher and later a bishop of 
the Mennonite church. He died in 1892. 

Samuel Egly lived on hjs father's estate 
and assisted in its cultivation during his 



youth and young manhood. He was edu- 
cated in the schools of his neighborhood and 
obtained as good an education as was pos- 
sible in that district. He was married to Miss 
Fanny Schindler, a daughter of Christian 
and Barbara (Leichty) Schindler. Her 
father was born in France. Her mother was 
a native of Ohio. To this union five chil- 
dren have been born : Albert, employed in a 
bank in Grabil, Allen county; Katie E., at 
home; Adam, who assists in operating his 
father's business ; William and Rachael, both 
at home. 

Mr. Egly is the owner and operator of a 
flour mill in the town of Geneva. His mill 
is equipped with the most modern machinery 
and he does a large business. His products 
have a wide popularity and find a ready sale 
in the markets of the northern part of the 
state. In 1901 he became connected with 
the Berne Grain and Hay Company, but 
later sold out his interests. But before en- 
gaging in the milling business or connecting 
himself with the grain and hay company he 
operated his farm, to which he still devotes 
some of his time and attention. Now, how- 
ever, he has given up the active work and 
management of his farm, which is located 
in Hartford township, and consists of eighty 
acres of excellent land, and rents the prop- 

In every respect Mr. Egly is a model citi- 
zen. He takes an active interest in all things 
and movements that are for the advancement 
of the material prosperity of his town and 
county and is a wide-awake man in all par- 
ticulars. He is an adherent of the Demo- 
cratic party and although he has not been 
an aspirant for party or public preferment, is 
high in the councils of his party in his dis- 
trict. With his wife and family he worships 

at the Mennonite church and gives his moral 
and material support to the affairs and 
projects of this denomination. 


Clark J. Lutz, a leading member of the 
bar of Adams county, where he has resided 
a number of years, was born in Williams- 
port, Allen county, Indiana, on the 14th of 
March, 1S63. His parents, Samuel and Lu- 
anda Lutz, were natives of Starke county, 

When the subject was a young man of 
sixteen years and after the completion of his 
common school education he formed a part- 
nership with his brother, Jacob S. Lutz, and 
engaged in the mercantile and drug business 
in Williamsport. They were successful in 
this line, in which they continued until 18S2, 
when the subject came to Decatur and in the 
following year engaged in the real estate 
business in partnership with the late J. F. 
France. A year later Mr. Lutz took up the 
study of law in the office of France & Merry- 
man and in 1S85 was admitted to the bar 
and entered upon the active practice of his 
profession the following year. His course 
has been honorable and consistent from the 
outstart and he now ranks as one of the 
ablest lawyers in the Adams county bar, 
being held in high esteem not only by his 
fellow practitioners, but also by the citizens 
of the community. Mr. Lutz has a fine resi- 
dence in the outskirts of Decatur. 

On the 14th of October, 1885, the subject 
married Miss Anna M. Lewis, who was 
born in Zanesville, Ohio, being the daughter 
of Dr. J. V. Lewis. To them one daughter 
has been born, Miss Jean B. Lutz. 




Among the members of the medical pro- 
fession of Adams county Dr. Amos Reusser 
occupies a high position. He is a man who 
inspires confidence, and as this is a pre- 
eminent requirement of the successful physi- 
cian, his success is not a source of wonder 
or remark. He was born in Berne December 
21, 1869. His father was one of the first 
druggists of Berne and one of its leading 
business men. He was born in Canton, 
Ohio, and grew to manhood in that city. 
Later he removed to Hancock county in the 
same state, and at a still later date moved to 
Iowa. Leaving Iowa, he returned to Indi- 
ana and took up his residence in Berne. He 
was engaged in the saw-mill business until 
1871, when he opened a drug store. Dr. 
Reusser received his early education in the 
Berne schools and later took a classical 
course for two years at the Tri-State Normal 
School at Angola. After finishing this course 
he taught school for three years. Casting 
about for a profession other than that of an 
educator, he decided to take up medicine. 
Accordingly he entered the Homeopathic 
Medical College at Chicago and pursued his 
studies in that institution for thiee years. 
During his summer vacations he read in the 
office of Dr. Ernest Franz, whom he se- 
lected as his practicing preceptor. In 
March, 1897, he completed his course in the 
medical school and was graduated and re- 
turned to Berne and commenced active prac- 
tice of his profession. 

One year before his graduation from the 
Chicago school Dr. Reusser was united in 

marriage to Miss Clara Bixler, a daughter 
of David and Anna (Luginbil!) Bixler. 

1 hree daughters have been born to Dr. and 

Mrs. Reusser: Frances, Helen and Laura. 

Since his establishment in Berne Dr. 
Reusser has come to be recognized as one of 
the leading members of his school of medi- 
cine of northern Indiana. He is a progres- 
sive man and is in complete harmony with 
the idea that a professional man to be a suc- 
cessful man must keep abreast with the de- 
velopments of his profession. Dr. Reusser 
does this and is posted on the newest meth- 
ods and discoveries in the realm of medicine 
and surgery. But his interest in life and its 
activities is not limited by his interest in his 
profession. His progressive spirit finds 
much for it to do in connection with the 
business and social affairs of his fellow man. 
He is, therefore, one of the public-spirited 
men of Berne and a mover in all things that 
are designed to improve or uplift the com- 
munity. His business connections are varied 
and he is interested in a number of different 

His political affiliations are with the Re- 
publican party. However, like other men, 
he reserves the right to vote for the man 
best fitted for the particular county office 
rather than the party candidate. On nation- 
al issues he votes with his party. With his 
wife and the members of his family he is a 
consistent and faithful member of the Men- 
nonite church. 


One of the successful business men who 
have contributed much to the financial de- 
velopment of his section of Indiana is Na- 
than B. Shepherd, a successful and esteemed 
resident of Geneva, Adams county. He is 



engaged in the grain business as a member 
of the Berne Grain and Hay Company. He 
was born on a farm occupied by his father 
in Adams county that had been in the fam- 
ily since the grandfather of Nathan — Wil- 
liam Shepherd — entered the land from the 
government. Nathan Shepherd's father was 
Edward Shepherd, who married Lucy A. 
Buckingham. He was a native of Franklin 
county, Ohio, where he was bom in 1826. 
The elder Shepherd was a son of William 
and Olevia (Emory) Shepherd, natives of 
Virginia. After a residence of some years 
in Ohio Edward Shepherd and his parents 
removed to Adams county in 1836 and set- 
tled on a farm. Here William Shepherd 
died in 1863. His wife died in 1856. Ed- 
ward Shepherd and his wife had nine chil- 
dren, five of whom are still living: Emery, 
Margaret E., Nathan B., Martha A. and 
Morton G. 

Nathan B. Shepherd spent his early life 
on his father's farm and grew to manhood 
there. In 1S77 he started out for himself 
and engaged in the grain business with J. 
D. and O. W. Hale at his present location 
in Geneva as an employe. He con- 
tinued in this business until 1898, 
when he was appointed postmas- 
ter of Geneva. This office he filled with 
credit and discharged all of its duties and 
obligations with intelligence and to the sat- 
isfaction of the citizens of his native town. 
In 1901 he engaged in his present business. 
Under his able maangement and attention 
this business has grown until it is one of the 
most important and largest of its kind in the 
county. He has of recent years enlarged 
the scope of his business and includes in his 
grain business dealing in hay, coal, cement 
and other similar products. He is a mem- 

ber of the Berne Grain and Hay Company. 
This concern was organized in igoi and 
stock in it is held by a number of farmei -. 
and dealers of Adams county. It has been 
developed from a comparatively small con- 
cern to a large business and the annual busi- 
ness done is gratifying to those who are in- 
terested in the company and who have been 
instrumental in promoting its prosperity. 

In 1879 Mr. Shepherd married Miss 
Sarah C. Conner. His wife is a daughter 
of William and Catherine (Farber) Conner, 
natives of Jay county, Indiana, where her 
father was a carpenter and joiner. Mr. 
and Mrs. Shepherd are the parents of four 
children, all boys. Earl is employed in the 
railway mail service, William is in a railway 
office at Fort Wayne and Charles and Clar- 
ence are in school at their home. 

Mr. Shepherd has been a consistent voter 
of the Republican ticket and gives that party 
organization his loyal support. He served 
for a time as a member of the board of trus- 
tees. He is a member of the Masonic and 
Odd Fellows fraternities and is enthusias- 
tic in the interests and work of these bodies. 
In religious matters he and his family sup- 
port the Methodist church. His grandfather 
had the distinction of being the first mem- 
ber of this faith in Adams county and the 
first services of this denomination in the 
county were held at the grandfather's home 
and in his log cabin the first church was 


Lew Holthouse, an up-to-date and suc- 
cessful liveryman at Decatur, Adams county, 
Indiana, is a native of the county in which 



he now resides, having been bora on the 6th 
day of July, 1SS2. He is a son of John B. 
and Mary (Gast) Holthouse, the former also 
a native of Adams county and the latter born 
in Louisville, Kentucky. John and Mary 
Holthouse were the parents of six children, 
all of whom are living, namely : Lev.-, the 
subject of this sketch; Clarence, May, Fran- 
ces, Felix and Catherine. Ey a second mar- 
riage John Holthouse had four children, 
viz. : Jesse, John, Margaret and Hugh. The 
subject's paternal grandfather, Bernard 
Holthouse, was a native of Germany, but in 
an early day came to this locality and en- 
gaged in farming, which pursuit he followed 
during the remainder of his life. His son, 
father of the subject, then took up the work, 
which he followed until young manhood, 
when he came to Decatur and engaged in the 
drug business, which he has always followed. 
He is now the senior member of the firm 
known as the Holthouse Drug Company, of 
which he was the founder. The subject's 
mother died December 21, 1896. 

The subject of this sketch received a com- 
mon school education and received two terms 
of instruction in the military college at Rens- 
selaer, Indiana, subsequently graduating at 
the International Business College at Fort 
Wayne. After this he was employed as 
bookkeeper at the Old Adams County Bank 
for two years, after which he engaged in the 
horse business, buying and shipping horses 
from all over the west. In 1902 he engaged 
in the livery business, which he has since 
followed successfully, being now considered 
one of the leading concerns of this character 
here. In politics he is a staunch Democrat 
and religiously is affiliated with the Catholic 
church. Fraternally he belongs to the 
Knights of Columbus, Benevolent and Pro- 

tective Order of Elks and the Eagles at Fort 


J. H. Hardison, the gentleman about 
whose career this brief sketch is concerned, 
is one of the men who have developed and 
made profitable the northeastern Indiana oil 
field. He is a resident of Geneva, Adams 
county, and is one of the substantial and 
esteemed men of his community. He was 
born in the state of Maine, February 5, 
1 84 1. He is the son of Ivory and Dorcas 
(Abbott) Hardison. His father was a far- 
mer in that eastern state and spent his life 
in cultivating the soil. He died in Maine. 
His son was reared on his father's place and 
secured his education in the schools of his 
neighborhood. When he was still a young 
man the stories that reached him of the for- 
tunes to be made in the oil fields of the coun- 
try attracted him. He was one of a family 
of eleven children, six of whom are still liv- 
ing, and his services were not needed at his 
home. Accordingly in his twenty-second 
year he went west to Pennsylvania and be- 
gan business in the oil fields of that state. 
His efforts were successful and he continued 
to operate in Pennsylvania for the follow- 
ing twenty-two years. In 1883 he went to 
Kansas, in which state he remained for six 
years. He was variously interested for an 
interval of a few years and in 1S92 came 
to Indiana. After reaching this state he de- 
cided to locate in Geneva, Adams county. In 
1892 he entered into partnership with C. P. 
Collins and J. R. Leonard. These men 
later added Harry Heasley and J. H. Evans 
and formed the Superior Oil Company. In 



the year of its organization the company was 
incorporated under the laws of Indiana and 
its original capitalization was .^300,000. 

In 1876 Mr. Hardison was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Maiy E. Brooking. His wife 
is a daughter of John Brooking, who was a 
sea captain. She was born in Newfound- 
land, where her father's home was located 
and where he lived. Two children have 
come to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hardison : Bertha A., now the wife of H. 
O. Butler, engaged in the oil business at 
Geneva, and a son, Wallace B., living at his 
father's home. 

Mr. Hardison is a man who takes an in- 
terest in public affairs, and has contributed 
to the development of his adopted home. He 
is a member of the Republican party, but 
has not held public office. His fraternal af- 
filiations are represented by the Masons, of 
which he is a member, having attained the 
thiry-second degree, and by membership in 
the Salina (Kansas) Lodge, No. 28, of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He 
owns considerable property in Geneva. 

Wallace L. Hardison, a younger brother 
of the subject of this sketch, lived for some 
time in Los Angeles, where he owned the 
Los Angeles Herald. He built this paper 
up to a very high standard and invested 
more than three hundred thousand dollars 
in it. He still lives in California. A nephew, 
C. P. Collins, is president of the largest oil 
producing company in the Indian Territory. 
Another brother of the subject of these lines. 
Harvey Hardison, was killed in a tunnel 
while exploring for oil by an explosion in 
1 890. 

The Superior Oil Company, of Geneva, is 
a prosperous concern and of it Mr. Hardi- 
son is the vice president. The other officers 

arc: C. P. Collins, president; J. R. Leonard, 
treasurer, and Harry Heasley, secretary. 
The directors are: C. P. Collins, J. H. Har- 
dison, J. R. Leonard, Harry Heasley and J. 
H. Evans. 


Contemporary financiers of Indiana have 
a large amount of responsibility and a great 
trust imposed on them. The banks of the 
state, whether national or state institutions, 
are managing and conducting vast enter- 
prises and a full share of the responsibility 
and integrity of these enterprises falls on the 
banks of the northeastern section of the 
state. The growth of the commercial im- 
portance of the state has developed men of 
unusual strength of character and financial 
ability and among them, occupying a trusted 
and honored place, is Charles Stavart Nib- 
lick, president of the Old Adams County 
Bank of Decatur. 

Mr. Niblick was born in Decatur October 
19, 1866. He is a member of a famliy that 
has been aggressively and prominently con- 
nected with the development of Adams coun- 
ty and long identified with its banking inter- 
ests. He is a son of Jesse Niblick, who was 
a pioneer banker and merchant of Decatur, 
and who attained a high standing in the 
commercial life of his community. His 
father began his business life in a modest and 
small way. He conducted a small store for 
a number of years and later engaged in part- 
nership in a general store that grew to large 
proportions. He also was instrumental in 
founding and organizing the O'd Adams 
County Bank and was its president after its 



organization. He continued to act as presi- 
dent of the bank for a number of years and 
then resigned to devote his attention to his 
crowing store. He was succeeded in the 
presidency of the bank by David Studabaker, 
but retained his place on the bank's director- 
ate and was chosen vice president of the in- 

Charles S. Niblick was educated in the 
schools of Decatur and grew to manhood 
there. March 15, 1881, he entered the 
bank of which his father was the head in the 
capacity of a clerk. He had gained some 
commercial experience during the school va- 
cations by clerking in his father's store. He 
filled various positions in the bank's employ 
for several years and was made assistant 
cashier. He learned the duties of a cashier 
under the able instruction of R. K. Allison, 
and when that gentleman resigned as cash- 
ier of the bank to engage in the lumber busi- 
ness Charles S. Niblick succeeded him. He 
assumed his duties as cashier of the bank 
November 12, 1906. 

During the time he had been associated in 
the bank with others a number of changes 
had taken place. David Studabaker, who 
w as elected president of the bank to succeed 
Jesse Niblick, was in turn succeeded by Wil- 
liam H. Niblick, August 1, 1894. Decern- 
ing 26, 1906, Mr. R. K. Allison resigned his 
jwsition as president of the bank, to which 
«'hicc he had been elected after his resigna- 
tion as cashier in November of the same 
>ear. and Charles S. Niblick was selected as 
his successor. This position he is still hold- 
•ng and in addition takes an active part in 
the management of the bank's affairs. On 
Mr. Niblick's elevation to the presidency of 
">e hank he was succeeded as cashier by E. 
X. Ehinger. 

During the years previous to and during 
the connection of Mr. Niblick with this bank 
it has grown to be one of the most important 
financial institutions in the northern section 
of the state. Its present capitalization is 
one hundred and twenty thousand dollars 
and its surplus is in excess of twenty thou- 
sand dollars. It is managed and conducted 
along the most conservative lines. The stock 
is held closely and a majority of it is in pos- 
session of the Niblick and Studabaker fam- 

In addition to his interest in the Adams 
County Bank Mr. Niblick is interested in a 
number of financial enterprises of the county. 
He is a stockholder and director in the bank 
of Wren, Ohio; a director of the German 
Building', Loan and Savings Association of 
Decatur, and a member of the Decatur Com- 
mercial Club. He is an active citizen and is 
interested in all movements to improve the 
city of Decatur and to advance its commer- 
cial interests. Although he is an adherent 
of the Democratic party, he is not in any 
sense a politician. He is essentially a busi- 
ness man, but finds enjoyment in his mem- 
bership in the Knights of Columbus ; also a 
charter- member of No. 993, Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, of which he is 
treasurer, and it is no detraction from his 
standing as a financier to say that he enjoys 
a game of baseball and is an enthusiastic 

Mr. Niblick was married to Miss Minnie 
Waldron, of Niagara Falls, New York, Jan- 
uary 8, 18S9. For a short time before her 
marriage Miss Waldron was a resident of 
Decatur. Five children have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Niblick. These children form 
a delightful family. They are: Naomi, 
Stewart, James, Charlotte and Margaret. 



Mrs. Niblick is a cultured woman and was 
educated in the best schools of Niagara 
Falls and Buffalo. She takes an active part 
in the intellectual life of Decatur and is a 
member of the city's literary clubs. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Niblick are members of Saint 
Mary's Roman Catholic church and are de- 
vout and consistent Christians. Their home 
is one of the most attractive in Decatur and 
is a center of much social life and reflects an 
environment of culture and refinement. 


John Niblick, with whose career this 
sketch is concerned, is one of the substan- 
tial business men of Adams county and one 
of the best known throughout northeastern 
Indiana. He was born in Adams county and 
has spent his life in that county. His con- 
nection with the business life of the county 
and particularly with the business life of De- 
catur and Berne, have left indelible impresses 
on the development and success of the local- 
ity. He was born in Decatur, January 8, 
1853. His bitrh occurred in a house that 
occupied the site of the present Journal of- 
fice. From his thirteenth year he has been 
engaged in business and lias had an active 
career. He engaged in the general mercan- 
tile business at Decatur in 1866 and began to 
learn a business of which he has made a dis- 
tinct success. The story of the development 
of the mercantile establishment in Decatur 
bearing his name is the story of the devel- 
opment of the business life of John Niblick. 

This business was established in Decatur 
in 1840 by J. D. Nuttman. Mr. Nuttman 
conducted it for seventeen vears and then 

sold his interests to his brother, John Nutt- 
man, and John Crawford. The business was 
then conducted under the firm name of Nutt- 
man & Crawford until 1S66, when le^- 
Niblick purchased the interest held by Mr. 
Nuttman. Again the firm name was change!, 
and this time became Niblick & Crawford. 
In 1874 Frank Crawford, a son of John 
Crawford, and John Niblick, a son of Jesse 
Niblick, were taken into the partnership ami 
the firm continued to do business under the 
new name of Niblick, Crawford & Sons. An- 
other change came about in 1SS8, when bull; 
of the Crawfords retired from the partner- 
ship and the Niblicks secured the entire bu>i- 
ness. This necessitated another change in 
the name of the firm and Jesse Niblick & 
Son appeared on the sign above the store. 
This last partnership arrangement was con- 
tinued until the death of Jesse Niblick, Octo- 
ber 6, 1895. The business was operated by 
John and William H. Niblick as executors 
of their father's estate until 1897, when the 
business was incorporated as Niblick & Com- 
pany. John was chosen president of the 
company formed in this manner to opera;'- 
the business and he is serving the compan; 
in that capacity today. Since the incorpora- 
tion two of the original stockholders and 
partners in the business have died. These 
are Charles P. Ehinger, who was manager 
of the store from its incorporation, and W i- 
liam H. Niblick. Mr. Niblick was secretary 
of the company and president of the bank 
The deceased partners were succeeded u\ 
Daniel M. Niblick, who is the manager •■! 
the store and secretary of the company. 

Niblick & Company represents the large*'' 
enterprise of its kind in Adams county. 1 '" 
store carries a large and varied stock of »rj 
goods, notions, 'carpets, rugs, curtains. 



qiirc-nsware, groceries and the like, and the 
annual volume of business done exceeds one 
hundred thousand dollars. A force of twelve 
people is constantly employed and John and 
Daniel Niblick give their personal attention 
to the operation and management of the 
growing business. The store building is 
owned by the Jesse Niblick estate and was 
erected by Jesse Niblick in 1876 at an origi- 
nal cost of twelve thousand dollars. This 
includes the cost of the bank building adjoin- 
' ing. The store has approximately seventy- 
five thousand square feet of floor space and 
is a building admirably adapted to the dis- 
play and sale of goods. 

Mr. Niblick is an active business man. He 
is interested in a number of Decatur enter- 
prises and is considered an able financier. He 
is a director of the Old Adams County Bank 
and has taken an active part in the manage- 
ment of its affairs and contributed largely to 
its growth into a sound and substantial finan- 
cial institution. For a time, from 1890 to 
1S96, he managed a grain business in Deca- 
tur and made it a successful enterprise. He 
is a man who believes in doing thoroughly 
that which he undertakes to advance the in- 
terests of his city. He is in the van of 
movements to build up the city and to in- 
crease its commercial significance. He is 
public spirited and a firm friend of education. 
He served for a number of years as a mem- 
ber of the Decatur school board and has al- 
ways taken a keen and active interest in the 
educational progress of the city. 

May 18, 1S76, Mr. Niblick was married 
to Miss Mary J. Studabaker, a daughter of 
Judge David S. Studabaker. She is an 
accomplished and highly educated woman 
arid is a gradiiate of the Glendale Female 
College in the class of '75. Mrs. Niblick is 

prominent in the social life of Decatur. She 
is interested in movements started by women 
and is active in local and stale women's club- 
work. She is president of the Eighth Dis- 
trict Federation of Women's Clubs and has 
been instrumental in bringing peace out of 
chaos when the women's club life of Indi- 
ana was threatened by dissensions and fac- 
tional disagreements. With her husband and 
family, she is an earnest member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, in which de- 
nomination and its work both Mr. and Mrs. 
Niblick take leading and active parts. Mr. 
Niblick has been an officer of the Decatur 
church for many years and was secretary of 
the board for twenty-one years. In addition 
he is a delegate to the conferences of the 

The home life of Mr. and Mrs. Niblick is 
most attractive. Their home is one of the 
social centers of Decatur and is characterized 
by refinement and culture. They are the 
parents of a number of most interesting 
children. These children are: Hattie, the 
wife of A. D. Suttles, a principal in one of 
the Decatur schools; Josephine, the wife of 
O. P. Edwards, of Leipsic, Ohio, where he 
is interested in a brokerage stone business 
and a bank ; Burton S., a student at the Ohio 
Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, and 
Helen, attending the Decatur high schools. 


C. Lee Walters, an able and prominent 
attorney of Adams county, although still a 
young man has had a most active and varied 
business career since he passed from his 
youth to young manhhod. He was born 



January 10, 1869. His parents, William M. 
and Martha A. (Drummond) Walters, were 
long" residents of Adams county. William 
Walters was a native of Pennsylvania and 
came to Adams county when a boy of thir- 
teen. He was educated in the common 
schools of the county and began teaching 
school when still young. He gained much 
•popularity as a teacher and after a few years 
was chosen county superintendent of schools. 
He served in this capacity from 1S75 to 
1879. In this latter year he removed to 
Clay county, Nebraska, where he resumed 
teaching. In a short time he was elected 
county treasurer of Clay county. He is a 
Democrat and has always been active in poli- 
tics. He removed to Thomas county and 
"was elected probate judge. After serving two 
terms he retired from active life. Martha 
A, Walters, the wife of William Walters, is 
a daughter of Robert Drummond, a native 
•of Ohio, and one of the pioneers of Adams 
county. Her father came to Indiana at an 
early date and settled on a farm in Root 
township, where he became a prominent 
farmer and cultivated a large tract of land. 
He raised a large family and lived in Adams 
county until his death at his home in 1875. 
His sons settled in Adams county. The 
•death of Mrs. Walters occurred in Ohio and 
she is survived by two children, C. L. Wal- 
ters and a daughter, Alice, the wife of Wil- 
liam Tuohy, who lives with her husband in 
Gladwin county, Michigan. 

The boyhood of Clement Lee Walters was 
spent in Decatur. He was educated in the 
■common schools of the county, completing 
the regular course. He attended the normal 
•schools at Angola and Valparaiso and Black- 
bum University at Carlinville, Illinois. 
When he was twenty years of age he began 

teaching and taught continuously for eight 
years. He taught in all the grades of the 
common schools and was selected as assist- 
ant principal of the Decatur high school, in 
which city he taught five years in the grades 
and high school. In the intervals between 
his school duties he read law and passing the 
bar examinations, he was admitted to prac- 
tice in the Adams county courts. 

Following the conclusion of his teaching 
period he engaged in the boot and shoe busi- 
ness. He continued in this business and in 
the general merchandise business until 1903, 
and then formed a partnership with Mr. 
John E. Kern to conduct a real estate busi- 
ness. This business was established in con- 
nection with a general mercantile business at 
Midland, Michigan, and it was in successful 
operation under the direction of these two 
men for three years. Mr. Walters then de- 
cided to take up his profession of law and to 
devote all of his attention to it. Accord- 
ingly he returned to Decatur and in Septem- 
ber, 1906, he established his office. During 
the comparatively short time he has been en- 
gaged in practicing law he has built up a 
good practice and has gained much promi- 
nence. He is a man who, like his father, 
takes an active interest in politics. However, 
unlike his father, he is an adherent of the 
Republican party. He is an active and able 
worker for his party and has received honor 
at the hands of his fellow Republicans. He 
has served as chairman of his party organi- 
zation in Adams county and was appointed 
a deputy interna! revenue collector for the 
northeastern district of Indiana. He held 
this office for a year and then resigned. 

He has been selected a number of times to 
represent his party at'eounty and state con- 
ventions, and has proved an efficient worker 



u>r liis party's interests and an able and wise 
counselor. He is still actively engaged in 
politics, but in business devotes himself ex- 
clusively to the practice of his profession. 

The marriage of Mr. Walters and Miss 
Grace E. McConnehey was solemnized in 
1S96. Three children have been born to 
these parents : Robert K., Helen and Doro- 
thy. Mr. and Mrs. Walters are devout mem- 
bers of the Methodist church and are among 
the most highly respected residents of their 
community. Both are educated people and 
their home is one of the most delightful in 
Decatur. Their social position in the com- 
munity is exceptional and their home is the 
center of much of the social gayety of the 

Mr. Walters is a thirty-second-degree Ma- 
son, being a member of the Bay City, Michi- 
gan, consistory; Elf Khurafeh temple of the 
Mystic Shrine at Saginaw, Michigan. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Walters are members of the 
Order of the Eastern Star. 


Among the leading financiers of Adams 
county and the men who are contributing to 
the sustained commercial growth and devel- 
opment of this section of northeastern Indi- 
ana properly may be numbered Matthias 
Kirsch, the vice president of the Old Adams 
County Bank. He was born in the univer- 
sity town of Heidelberg, on the banks of the 
German Rhine. August 17, 1856. He is a 
son of Christopher and Catherine (Stern) 
'Mrsch. His parents grew to maturity and 
were mai ried in the quaint German college 
town and Christopher Kirsch was a mer- 

chant there for a number of years. After a 
few years of successful business in Heidel- 
berg he decided to migrate to America and 
seek his fortune in the United States. Ac- 
cordingly he sold his business interests in 
Germany and embarked with his family for . 
New York. The journey across the Atlan- 
tic was made in safety and without incident 
and the family reached Indiana in 1S67. 
Christopher Kirsch purchased a tract of 
new land in Preble township, Adams county, 
and settled on it. It was unimproved, but 
after a few years of industry and frugality 
he found himself in possession of a good 
farm, well cleared and improved and afford- 
ing a comfortable income. He continued to 
live on his farm until a few years before his 
death, which occurred about the year 1899. 
His wife survived him several years and died 
in 1902. Both he and his wife were mem- 
bers of the German Reformed church and he 
was a successful farmer and accumulated 
considerable property. He was eminently 
respected and enjoyed the esteem and confi- 
dnece of all who knew him and were asso- 
ciated with him in a business and social 

Of a family of eight children born to this 
estimable couple and consisting of Barbara, 
Matthias, Peter (deceased), Peter (living), 
Catherine (deceased), Catherine (living), 
John (deceased) and John (living), it will 
be seen that Matthias was the second in 
point of birth. He was eleven years of age 
when his parents decided to forsake their 
home along the Rhine and migrate to the 
United States. His youth was, accordingly, 
spent in the fatherland and he was educated 
in the parochial schools of his neighborhood. 
After coming 1 to Adams countv he attended 
the common schools of his district and se- 


3° 2 


cured as good an English education as the 
circumstances and his environment war- 
ranted. In addition to his studies he as- 
sisted in the work of clearing and cultivating 
his father's farm and in time became a 
skilled agriculturist. He continued to live 
•on the home estate and to assist in its culti- 
. vation and management until 1875, when he 
removed to Belmont, Illinois, and engaged in 
the mercantile business in that city. He 
spent the following twelve years in Illinois 
and in 1S87 he returned to Indiana and set- 
tled in Decatur. He engaged in the lumber 
business after returning to Adams county, 
the firm name being Fritzinger & Kirsch. 
This partnership arrangement continued for 
the next two years, when Mr. Fritzinger 
sold his interest to A. H. Sellemeyer and the 
firm then became known under the name of 
Kirsch & Sellemeyer. This business is con- 
tinued today. In addition to his lumber 
business Mr. Kirsch is interested in other 
commercial enterprises of Adams county. 
He is a stockholder in the Old Adams Coun- 
ty Bank and in 1906 was elected vice presi- 
dent of this strong financial institution. He 
takes more than a passive interest in the af- 
fairs of the bank and is active to an extent 
in its management. 

The marriage of Mr. Kirsch and Miss 
Amanda Langenbacher occurred in 1878. 
Mrs. Kirsch is a native of Preble township, 
Adams county, and is a daughter of Mat- 
thias and Harriet Langenbacher, who were 
early settlers of Adams county. Three chil- 
■dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kirsch : 
Delia, the wife of Frederick Reppert, one of 
the best known auctioneers of Adams county, 
and Otto L. and Harold, both at home with 
their parents. 

Mr. Kirsch is one of the most highly es- 

teemed men of his city and community ami 
a man whose advice is often sought on mat- 
ters of importance. He is a shrewd and suc- 
cessful business man and one who takes an 
active part in furthering the interests of De- 
catur and Adams county. He is a director 
in the following companies: The Cement 
Roof and Block Company, Furnace Com 
pany, the Packing Company and the Auto- 
mobile Works. In politics he is a 
Democrat and consistently votes the ticket 
of this party and works for its success. With 
his wife and the members of his family, lit- 
is a member of the German Reformed 
church and accords this denomination his 
hearty and generous support. 


Daniel M. Niblick is a member of the 
younger generation of a family that has for 
many years been intimately connected with 
the commercial development and the indus- 
trial history of Adams county. His father 
and grandfather gained prominent places in- 
the financial world of northeastern Indiana. 
and the success and present prestige of exist- 
ing financial institutions can be attributed 
directly to their efforts and to their sagacity. 

Daniel Niblick was born at the old family 
homestead in Decatur. Adams county. Janu- 
ary 10, 1870. He spent his early life at his 
parents' home, where his mother is still liv- 
ing, and was educated in the Decatur 
schools. He was an earnest student anil 
gained the esteem of his fellow students and 
his instructors. After finishing his studies 
in the Decatur schools he decided to take up 
a commercial life. Accordingly lie entered 



the store of Niblick & Company as a clerk. 
In this move he laid the foundation of a suc- 
cessful career. The store of Niblick & Com- 
pany has become an institution in Adams 
county. It has had a career of many years 
of successful business, having grown to be 
ihe most important general merchandise es- 
tablishment in the county. It was founded 
years ago by Jesse Niblick, father of the 
subject of this sketch, and has been in the 
family since. When Daniel Niblick entered 
the store, February 1, 1887, he was seven- 
teen years of age. He learned the business 
conducted by the store in a most thorough 
manner. He began at the bottom and famil- 
iarized himself with all the many details of 
the business. He progressed rapidly and 
March 3, 1897, ten years after he entered the 
store, he became a stockholder. 

Since the death of Mr. Charles P. Ehing- 
er, August 18, 1902, he has been manager of 
the enterprise and succeeded his brother, 
William H. Niblick, as secretary of the com- 
pany operating the store. 

June 20, 1894, Mr. Niblick was united in 
marriage to Miss Minnie D. Eiting, who had 
been an employe of the store for four years 
previous to her marriage. She was a native 
of Minster, Ohio. A family of four children 
have been bom to Mr. and Mrs. Niblick. 
1 hree of these children are living with their 
parents. They are: Omar John, Mildred 
and Harold. Velma, a daughter, died in 

Mr. Niblick is a successful business man. 
He is a type of progressive merchant, and 
under his management the store of Niblick 
& Company has increased its business ma- 
terially. It is a large establishment and is 
h'nser' in an excellent and commodious 
building-. It controls a large proportion of 

the trade of Decatur and Adams county and 
is managed and operated along the most 
modern lines of merchandising, as its stand- 
ing in the financial circles of northeastern 
Indiana is exceptional. In addition to his 
exacting responsibilities in connection with 
the store Mr. Niblick takes an interested and 
active part in the affairs of the county and 
his home city. He is a leader in movements 
designed to increase the commercial import- 
ance of Decatur and Adams county, and 
gives all such movements his hearty and lib- 
eral support. He is a Democrat in politics, 
but is not an aspirant for public office. With 
his wife and the members of his family, he 
is a member of the Saint Mary's Roman 
Catholic church and gives this church his 
earnest and liberal support. 


For more than a half century the name of 
Niblick has been closely identified with the 
commercial growth and development of 
Adams county. It was members of this 
family who individually contributed much to 
the financial development of the county, and 
who were largely instrumental in bringing it 
before the rest of the state because of its 
commercial prominence and industrial sig- 
nificance. Among the strong men of this 
family who aided in no mean way to pro- 
mote the interests of Decatur and Adams 
county none stands out more prominently, 
although now in memory, than William H. 
Niblick. In all matters of public need or 
public work he was ever to be found in the 
van. and he is remembered today as an ag- 
gressive, intelligent, clean-lived and honest 
financier and citizen. , 




William H. Niblick was born in Decatur 
March 19, 1855. He was the son of Jesse 
and Catherine (Close) Niblick. His parents 
were among the earlier settlers in the county 
and his father was a man of many affairs 
and a progressive business man. Jesse Nib- 
lick amassed a handsome fortune through 
his own unaided efforts and left an indelible 
impress upon the community in which he 
lived. He spent his entire life in commer- 
cial pursuits and founded the business con- 
ducted by Niblick & Company in Decatur. 
He began business in Decatur in a modest 
way, but he was a man of large abilities and 
he developed his properties until they as- 
sumed considerable proportions. Perhaps 
the most important event of his business ca- 
reer was the establishment of the Adams 
County Bank. Together with J. D. Nutt- 
man, he recognized the need of a bank in 
Decatur to take care of the increasing busi- 
ness the development of Adams county as a 
farming community brought about. Ac- 
cordingly he established a private bank with 
his partner in the mercantile business and 
this bank afterwards became the State Bank, 
still in successful operation in Decatur. Jesse 
Niblick was the first president of this bank 
and remained closely identified with its man- 
agement and control, dictating many of its 
policies until his death. 

The boyhod and youth of William H. 
Niblick were spent in Decatur. He was edu- 
cated in the schools of his home city and 
after completing his studies entered the 
county auditor's office as a deputy. This was 
during the tenure of office of Seymour Wor- 
den as auditor. He served in the office of 
the county auditor until the organization of 
the bank by his father and Mr. Nutlmrni. 
Then he gave up his public office and became 

the cashier of the new bank. He held im- 
position of cashier under a number of differ 
ent presidents of the bank until it was re- 
organized under the state laws of Indiana. 
This reorganization of the Adams County 
Bank was effected in 1S94 and consonant 
with the reorganization he was elected presi- 
dent of the institution. He continued as 
president of the bank until his death, No- 
vember 7, 1906. Under his direction the 
bank grew and expanded and its business 
was greatly increased. He was a conserva- 
tive business man and he applied his princi- 
ples of conservatism to his conduct of the 
bank's affairs. During his tenure of office 
a number of financial storms shook the 
country and many banks and concerns went 
to the wall. But the storms and buffetings 
did not disturb the course of the Adams 
County Bank. It withstood all shocks and 
emerged stronger and more confident after 
each fresh assault. Much of the credit for 
establishing the sound financial institution 
the bank represents today is directly due to 
Mr. Niblick. 

But the claims that may be made for re- 
vering the name of Williatti H. Niblick do 
not rest alone on his reputation and career 
as a careful and discerning financier. He 
was, above all, a good citizen. Keenly alive 
to the interests of his city and county, he 
was ever to be found in the front rank of 
those who were endeavoring to advance the 
moral, social and intellectual, as well as the 
commercial, interests of his community. He 
was a patron of education and enlighten- 
ment, and took much interest in these 
things. He co-operated loyally and gener- 
ously in all movements that looked toward 
the betterment of his city, and was active in 
administering its affairs. He was a member 




of the Decatur city council, and in other 
ways demonstrated that he had the welfare 
of his city at heart at all times. 

The marriage of Mr. Niblick and Miss 
Christina Miller was solemnized in Decatur, 
November 7, 1883. Mrs. Niblick is a daugh- 
ter of John and Elizabeth (Meibers) Miller 
and was born in Decatur, October 6, i860. 
Her parents were natives of Germany and 
came to Indiana and settled in Adams county 
at an early date. They lived in Decatur un- 
til their deaths some years ago. They were 
the parents of five children, three sons and 
two daughters. Of this family Mrs. Nib- 
lick was the fourth in order of birth. In 
addition to his widow Mr. Niblick is sur- 
vived by a son, Jesse George Niblick, the 
only child born to Mr. and Mrs. Niblick. 


David E. Studabaker, one of the large 
land owners and stock growers of Adams 
county, is the son and youngest child of the 
Hon. David Studabaker, whose name is in- 
delibly written in the history of the develop- 
ment of Adams county and who has left a 
lasting impress on the entire northeastern 
section of the state. The son of this illus- 
trious father was born on the parental farm 
in Adams county, near the city of Decatur, 
July 16, 1S71. He is one of a family of six 
children born to David and Harriet (Evans) 
Studabaker. He spent his youth on his 
lather's farm and was educated in the 
schools of his neighborhood and in Decatur. 
After completing his preliminary education 
in the common schools he studied for a time 
in the Howe grammar school at Lima, Indi- 

ana, and later at the Kenyon Military School 
at Gambier, Ohio. After he left this latter 
school he entered the employ of the Niblick 
& Company store at Decatur and worked for 
this mercantile establishment for one year. 
He then entered the Adams County Bank as 
a bookkeeper and served that financial insti- 
tution in this capacity for six and one half 
years. Following the severance of his rela- 
tions with the bank he engaged in the fire 
insurance business in Decatur. He repre- 
sented the farmer department of the Home 
Insurance Company of New York in Adams, 
Allen, Wells and Jay counties for two years 
and was successful in conducting the affairs 
and business of his employing company in 
these counties. After giving up the fire in- 
surance business he went to Fort Wayne and 
secured employment with M. S. and W. J. 
Vesey, the well known florists. While in the 
employ of these men he was assistant rose- 
grower and remained in the employ of the 
Veseys for one and one half years. At the 
outbreak of the Spanish-American war Mr. 
Studabaker enlisted in the newly organized 
Battery E, Light Artillery, and served with 
this command during the term of its service. 
The battery saw no active service and did 
not leave the country. When the battery 
was mustered out of service he returned to 
Fort Wayne, but soon went to Decatur and 
engaged as a bookkeeper with the Adams 
County Bank. He remained with the bank 
for three years, and then retired to his 
father's farm in Washington township and 
assisted in its management. After his fa- 
ther's death, May 3, 1904, Mr. Studabaker 
succeeded to the ownership of the farm and 
has since been actively engaged in its man- 
agement. 1 
This farm consists of seven hundred and 



forty acres of fine land. It is improved and 
has been brought to a high point of pro- 
ductiveness and cultivation. In fact, it is one 
of the finest as well as one of the largest 
estates in the county. The land is fertile and 
well drained and fenced and the buildings, 
including the residence and barns, are mod- 
ern, large and admirably adapted to meet 
the purposes to which, they are put. 

The marriage of Mr. Studabaker and Miss 
Lucy A. Beane occurred at Goshen, Indiana, 
November 25, 1891. Mrs. Studabaker is a 
daughter of the late William A. and Sarah 
E. (Mercer) Beane, of Goshen, Indiana. 
The former was editor and proprietor of the 
Goshen Democrat. One child, a son, David 
B. Studabaker, has been born of the union, 
October 5, 1892. 

Mr. Studabaker is one of the most exten- 
sive farmers and stock-raisers of Adams 
county. He makes a specialty of registered 
Duroc-Jersey swine and of fine grades of 
cattle. His strains of hogs and cattle are 
numbered among the best in the county. He 
is enthusiastic in fraternal matters and is a 
member of the Elks Lodge, No. 993, of De- 
catur, of which he has been secretary and is 
now esteemed lecturing knight ; Decatur 
Lodge, No. 167, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, and of Odd Fellows Encampment, 
No. 214. 


When Peter Kirsch, the subject of this 
brief sketch, reached America he was a small 
boy of five years of age. He came to Adams 
county w'th his parents after the arrival of 
the family in the United States, and has been 
a resident of Indiana since. He was born in 

Heidelberg, Germany, March 22, 1863. Hi 
parents were Christopher and Catherine 
(Stern) Kirsch, and were both natives of 
the German university town, where Chr!-.- 
topher Kirsch followed the occupation of a 
merchant. He concluded, however, that the 
fortunes of himself and family would be bet- 
tered by emigrating to the western republic 
and accordingly, in 1868, he came to this 
country. After reaching Indiana he pur- 
chased a